One of the most exciting events in Houston all year is coming up on May 12th – the 25th Annual Houston Art Car Parade!
Produced by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, the 25th Annual Houston Art Car Parade brings 300 rolling works of art to the city for a full weekend of colorful, artsy fun. An estimated 300,000 people will line Allen Parkway on Saturday May 12th to witness the world’s oldest and largest parade of its kind.
Surrounding the 25th Anniversary of the Houston Art Car Parade, the oldest and longest parade of its kind in the world, the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art is thrilled to announce a fantastic weekend of events May 10-13, 2012. What started out as a small caravan of like-minded artists and individuals 25 years ago has blossomed into one of the largest and most beloved events in the city of Houston all year, drawing an estimated crowd of over 300,000 on parade day.
Over the past 25 years, the Houston Art Car Parade has received national and international attention as being the premier celebration of self-expression and “the drive to create,” and with this momentous anniversary the Houston Art Car Parade is seeing a record number of participants, including over 100 entries that have never participated in the parade before.
In addition, many of the favorites from parades over the years will be returning for the anniversary, and nationally acclaimed artists such as Dennis McNett from Wolfbat Studios in Brooklyn will be traveling into Houston to create original entries specific for this year’s parade.
“The Houston Art Car Parade captures the essence of Houston’s eclectic and fun culture,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. “It is among my favorite events and one of the most unique treasures our great city offers.”
A schedule of the weekend’s activities is below:
Thursday, May 10th
The Legendary Art Car Ball
7pm-11pm at The Orange Show, 2400 Block of Munger St.
Deemed as one of the wildest parties in Houston, the Legendary Art Car Ball will take place on Thursday May 10th from 7pm-11pm at The Orange Show! The colorful block party will feature live music by the world famous The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, as well as supporting acts Folk Family Revival, The Tyburn Jig, Poor Pilate, Benjamin Wesley, and DJ Graham 14.
Come dressed in your most outrageous costume and kick off Houston Art Car Parade Weekend in style while getting an up close and personal look at some of the most amazing art cars in this year’s parade. Enjoy raucous performances by Kiki Maroon’s Sordid Sideshow and Dem Damn Dames, and participate in the Art Car Ball Costume Pageant hosted by beloved radio personality Maria Todd while noshing on speciality bites and drinks from Chef David Cordúa of Cordúa Restaurants. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door, and can be purchased online at http://www.thehoustonartcarparade.com/art-car-ball/.
Friday, May 11th
Main Street Drag
9am – 1pm – All over Houston
An annual Houston Art Car Parade Weekend tradition, the Main Street Drag brings the parade to the people, allowing those that may be unable to attend Saturday’s parade an opportunity to preview some of the participating Art Cars, meet with the artists, and experience first-hand the “Drive to Create!” This year, the Main Street Drag will run along two routes throughout Houston and stop at schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and many other locations. A complete history of the Main Street Drag as well as a
listing of this year’s stops and the map of the route is available online at http://www.thehoustonartcarparade.com/main-street-drag/
Sneak Peek at Discovery Green
6:30pm – 10:30pm – Discovery Green Park, 1500 McKinney
A FREE, family-friendly opportunity to get a fantastic, up-close preview of the cars featured in the Houston Art Car Parade the following day. Bring the kids for an incredible evening of live music, children’s activities, and of course Art Cars! Taking up the entire Discovery Green Park in Downtown Houston, the event will feature live music from The Houston Blues Society and a screening of the film Art Car: The Movie by Del Monte Films. Food and drink is available for purchase, so come enjoy an evening under the stars with Art Cars! More information can be found online at http://www.thehoustonartcarparade.com/sneak-peek-at-discovery-green/
Saturday, May 12th
The 25th Annual Houston Art Car Parade!
9am – 3pm, Parade rolls at 1pm.
For the 25th year, Houston will be home to the largest gathering of Art Cars in the world, with many coming from across the country (and Canada and Mexico) to participate! A huge metal dragon, a giant banana, an enormous chicken – are just a few of the over 250 rolling works of art that will be featured in this year’s parade. This international phenomenon draws nearly 300,000 people from around the world and is set to break all attendance records this year.
The Parade itself kicks off at 1pm with Art Cars beginning their procession down Allen Parkway starting at Waugh and turning at Bagby to parade back down the other side. Fans are encouraged to get there early and bring lawn chairs, plenty of water, and cash to purchase food, drink, and memorabilia, as the cars begin lining up at 9am.
There is something for everyone at the 25th Annual Houston Art Car Parade, including:
VIPit Party at the Houston Heritage Society – The VIPit Party is a ticketed event starting at 11am. Join Houston Art Car Parade Chairs Tracy and Glen Larner at the 2012 VIPit, the absolute best viewing experience of the Houston Art Car Parade. The VIPit offers shaded bleacher seating, live commentary, cold drinks and tasty treats from Phoenicia, Natachee’s, BerryHill Hot Tamales, Whole Foods, Gigi’s Asian Bistro, Houston Texans Grille, GoodPop, La Fisheria, James Coney Island, Jim Benton of Houston Catering, and Tacos a Go-Go. Tickets are $125 (or $15 for children 12 and under) and can be purchased online at www.TheHoustonArtCarParade.com or by calling 713-926-6368.
The Starting Line Party – Crowds are invited out to the fabulous Starting Line Party near Taft and Allen Parkway, beginning at 9am, to mingle with the Art Car Artists and roam through the lineup of all the participating Art Cars. You’ve never been to a party like this before!
Free Press Summer Fest Stage at Eleanor Tinsley Park – FREE live music from our friends at Free Press Houston will be kicking off at 11am, featuring local favorites The Ton Tons and Portal Walker. Put on your dancing shoes and let the music take you away! Food and drink will be available around the stage for purchase, as well as art activities courtesy of the Contemporary Arts Museum Teen Council.
Sam Houston Park: Retreat From the Street – Bring the whole family to watch the Parade and participate in hands-on interactive craft activities with City ArtWorks who will be making miniature Art Cars in their workshop created by IKEA. The Family Fun Zone has food and drink booths and opens at 11am.
CW39 Zone Grandstands – If you want to make sure you have an excellent view of the Parade, make sure you get a ticket in the CW39 Zone, ideally positioned along the route on Bagby! Shaded grandstand seats are available for purchase online at www.TheHoustonArtCarParade.com for $39. Make sure you dress in your wildest costume, because there’s a chance you will be featured on the CW39 broadcast of the Parade!
Sunday May 13th
The Houston Art Car Parade Awards Ceremony & Brunch
11am – 1pm
The Orange Show Center for Visionary Arts – 2402 Munger St.
The last blast of the weekend takes place on Sunday afternoon at The Orange Show! The Houston Art Car Parade Awards Ceremony features live music, food, and drink, as well as artists selling their creations. This year’s winners will be announced at the awards ceremony with more than $20,000 in cash and prizes going to the best Art Car creations in 14 categories. This event is free and open to the public.