This Saturday marks the 30th Annual Art Car Parade through downtown, and if you’ve never attended before, you’ve been missing out. Hundreds of outlandishly decorated cards, motorcycles, busses, and bikes will roll down Smith Street from 2:00-4:00 pm. The parade is part of Art Car Weekend, which also includes a ball, starting line party, and an awards ceremony. The Art Car Parade is a unique and beloved Houston tradition and everyone should attend at least once. Cheech Marin is this year’s Grand Marshall.
This year $20,000 in prizes will be awarded, and each competitor put forth an insane amount of effort transforming their car into a legitimate work of art. These are not cars temporarily transformed into parade floats with a little papier mache- the cars are permanently altered with paint and lots of welding until many of them are totally unrecognizable from their original state. Notable entries in the 2017 parade include the Bat Car, St. Arnold Cadillac, a rolling Elvis guitar, and a giant Yoda head. There are cars coated form bumper to bumper with sea shells, faux fur, rubber fish, flowers, and bits of mirror, among other things. It really must be seen to be believed!
You’ll want to arrive early, since spots with good views go quickly. Folding chairs and coolers are allowed, and there are food and beverage vendors along the route. The parade follows Smith Street from Pease to Walker and then goes around City Hall to end at Lamar and Bagby. Hermann Square is reserved for VIP ticket holders but all along Smith Street is open access for no charge. No pets or portable shade tents are allowed for safety reasons. Be sure to wear sunscreen and bring a little cash for the street vendors.
Parking will be limited and parade-goers are advised to park in downtown garages or take the Metro. There are parking garages open for the parade at Dallas and Brazos, Clay and W. Dallas, and Walker and Smith St. We’ll see you there!
For more information, please visit HoustonArtCarParade.com.
Source: Houston Art Car Parade