This weekend is the 31st annual Art Car Parade, and if you’ve never experienced this Houston tradition before, you’ve got to check it out! Hundreds of outlandishly decorated cards, motorcycles, buses, and bikes will roll down Allen Parkway on April 14 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.
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. Cars come from 23 states, Canada and Mexico- this is no minor local event.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. No pets, firearms, or portable shade tents are allowed for safety reasons. Be sure to wear sunscreen and bring a little cash for the street vendors
The parade starts at Allen Parkway and Crosby, then heads east into downtown. Please see the Art Car Parade website for detailed route information. The parade route will pass by Eleanor Tinsley Park, Sam Houston Park, City Hall, and Tranquility Park. Reserved seats are available at Sam Houston Park for a fee, and there is a dedicated VIP section at City Hall.
Parking will be limited in the downtown area and parade-goers are advised to take the Metro if possible. There is a parking garage open for the parade at 1100 Smith St. parking costs $10. There are more parking options around Allen Parkway, but be aware that road closures may put a kink in your driving plans. Road closure details are outlined on the Art Car Parade website. We’ll see you there!
For more information, please visit: Houston Art Car Parade