Houston, TX aka Art Car Capital of the World – Leading a weekend filled with exciting events May 8-10, 2014, the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art today announced that Mayor Annise Parker will be Grand Marshal of the Houston Art Car Parade, honoring her for her two decades of dedication to Houston and the strides that she has made in helping the city to become a world-class arts and culture destination during her terms as Mayor. During her years of service to the community, Mayor Parker has shown great support for civic events and the arts, including the Houston Art Car Parade, and has contributed to the growth of the creative economy. Mayor Parker will be riding with her family in the lead entry of the parade: a fantastic float that debuted at the Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2013 built by Houston Art Car Klub, depicting the Houston skyline and several of Houston’s iconic art cars.
“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.” This grassroots art happening started with a small caravan of like-minded artists and individuals over a quarter century ago. It has grown into one of the largest and most beloved events in the city of Houston all year.
“Having an advocate for the arts and proponent of growth in the city of Houston take the lead in this event truly encapsulates the spirit of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art,” said 2014 Houston Art Car Parade Chairs Cabrina and Steven Owsley. “Mayor Parker has always been a strong supporter of this annual event so we felt it was an appropriate honor to bestow upon her, as she approaches her final term in office.”
Mayor Parker will be formally recognized and presented with her Grand Marshal sash during The Legendary Art Car Ball presented by Arts Brookfield, taking place the evening before the Houston Art Car Parade at One and Two Allen Center in downtown Houston. Tickets are available for purchase at www.artcarball.com.
Over the past 27 years, the Houston Art Car Parade has received an impressive amount national and international attention noted for being one of the ultimate celebrations of self-expression and “the drive to create” – a representation of Houston’s entrepreneurial drive and creative spirit. This year the Houston Art Car Parade will showcase over 250 entries – almost half of which have never participated in the parade before, including a new submission from Amber Eagle who’s iconic “Our Lady of Transportation” led the parade in 2012, a six-ton potato on wheels, an interactive skateboard-themed entry from Brooklyn-based printmaker Dennis McNett of Wolfbat Studios, and a tribute to Cleveland “The Flower Man” Turner.
Additionally this year the Orange Show is thrilled to be bringing the Legendary Art Car Ball back to Downtown Houston! Presented by Arts Brookfield, the zany can’t miss ball of the year will take place on Friday May 9th from 6-11pm at the One and Two Allen Center lobbies and outdoor courtyard. Featuring live music on the main stage, dynamic performance art, creative interactive art activities, lively dancing, a crazy costume pageant, delectable food, specialty drinks, and the wildest art cars imaginable, this is a party that is not to be missed!
A schedule of the weekend’s activities is below:
Thursday, May 8th
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 masterminds who created the moving art pieces on wheels, and experience first-hand the “Drive to Create!” This year, the Main Street Drag will run along four routes throughout Houston and stop at schools, nursing homes, and many other locations. A complete history of the Main Street Drag as well as a listing of this year’s stops once they have been finalized is available online at http://www.thehoustonartcarparade.com/main-street-drag
Sneak Peek at Discovery Green
6:30pm – 9pm – Discovery Green Park, 1500 McKinney
A FREE, family-friendly opportunity to get a fantastic, up-close preview of the incredible cars featured in the Houston Art Car Parade the following day. Bring the kids for a fun filled evening of live music, children’s activities, and of course Art Cars! Sprawling across Discovery Green Park in Downtown Houston, the event will feature live music from Bill Kirchen & Too Much Fun and The Hollisters. Food and drink is available for purchase, so come enjoy an evening under the stars with the Art Cars! More information can be found online at www.thehoustonartcarparade.com/sneak-peek-at-discovery-green
Friday, May 9th
The Legendary Art Car Ball presented by Arts Brookfield
6pm – 11pm – One and Two Allen Center, 1200 Smith St.
Deemed as one of the wildest and zaniest parties in Houston, the Legendary Art Car Ball will take place on Friday May 9th from 6pm-11pm in downtown Houston in the lobbies and courtyards of One and Two Allen Center. The always exciting, colorful, and fun-filled party will be hosted by the hilarious Artemis from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and will feature live music from the incredible Whiskey Shivers, as well as performances from Free Rads 2nd Line, Eddie Sussex & The Innuendos, A Fistful of Soul, Third Ward Community Choir keeping the night moving with great melodies. Guests are encouraged to take part in a variety of hands-on art activities that will keep the inspired artist in everyone entertained. Bring your own decorated umbrella, or create one that evening at our Artist in Everyone Booth. Guests will take their personalized decorated umbrellas along and join the Free Rads 2nd Line parade in style. Best part of all? Guests can use it for some artistic shade the following day at the Houston Art Car Parade!
Come dressed and ready to party in your most outrageous costume to help kick off Houston Art Car Parade Weekend while getting an up close and personal look at some of the most amazing, colorful, elaborately crafted, and artistic art cars in this year’s parade. Make sure to strut your stuff in the Art Car Ball Costume Pageant, and nosh on specialty bites and drinks. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door, and can be purchased online at http://www.thehoustonartcarparade.com/art-car-ball
Saturday, May 11th
The 27th Annual Houston Art Car Parade!
10am – 4pm, Parade rolls at 2pm.
For the 27th year, Houston will be home to the largest gathering of Art Cars in the world, with numerous art car craftsmen coming from across the globe to participate! This international phenomenon drew 315,000 people from around the world in 2013 and is set to break all attendance records this year.
The Parade itself kicks off at 2pm, led by 2014 Grand Marshal Houston Mayor Annise Parker, 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 slew of cars begin lining up at 10am. Additionally, due to construction along Buffalo Bayou Park, the entire north side of Allen Parkway will be inaccessible to pedestrian traffic. Attendees are encouraged to get to Allen Parkway early in order to grab a spot along the south side of the road or inside the median.
There is something for everyone at the 27th Annual Houston Art Car Parade, including:
VIPit Party at the Houston Heritage Society – The VIPit Party is a ticketed event starting at 12pm. Join Houston Art Car Parade Chairs Cabrina & Steven Owsley at the 2014 VIPit, the ABSOLUTE BEST viewing experience of the iconic Houston Art Car Parade. The VIPit offers shaded bleacher seating, live commentary from local personalities, cold drinks and tasty treats from Houston’s best restaurants including California Pizza Kitchen, Eleven XI, The Fresh Market, Fuddruckers, Fusion Taco, Good Pop, Natachee’s, Ninfa’s on Navigation, and Saint Arnold, and ice cold beverages from Deep Eddy Vodka, Pura Vida Tequila, ByeJoe, Whole Foods, and Saint Arnolds and Shock Top. Tickets are $150 (or $25 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 fabulously fun Starting Line Party near Taft and Allen Parkway, beginning at 10am, 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!
FPSF Stage– FREE live music and entertainment from our friends at Free Press Houston will be kicking off at 11am at Heiner St. & Allen Parkway, featuring local bands The Wandering Bufaleros 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.
The Kids Zone: Retreat From the Street in Sam Houston Park– Bring the whole family to watch the Parade and participate in hands-on interactive craft activities with City ArtWorks and Ace Hardware, entertainment from Radio Disney, and a special performance from Young Harmonies of Houston. The Family Fun Zone has food and drink booths and lots of shade, and opens at 11am.
Grandstand Seating at Sam Houston Park – If you’re wanting to make sure that you have a shaded, reserved seat to watch all the parade action, then make sure to get a ticket in our Grandstands! Located just outside Sam Houston Park along the outbound side of Allen Parkway, the Grandstands will give you an optimal viewing area to watch all the cars go by while enjoying live parade commentary from announcers and relaxing in the shade. Food, drink and restrooms are also nearby! Tickets are $25 for adults or $15 for kids and can be purchased at www.thehoustonartcarparade.com.
For FAQs, parade route map, parking, directions, and all other information about the 26th Annual Houston Art Car Parade Weekend visit www.thehoustonartcarparade.com
The following organizations are sponsors of the 2013 Houston Art Car Parade and Weekend: United Airlines, Shock Top, Audi Central Houston, Texas Monthly, 90.1 KPFT, Houston Arts Alliance, Discovery Green, Free Press Houston, Houston Public Media, City ArtWorks, Radio Disney, Saint Arnold, United Technical Institute, Yelp, PaperCity Magazine, Fresh Arts, and the City of Houston through the Mayor’s Office of Special Events. Without sponsors, this free gift to the people of Houston would not be possible.
About the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art
Now in its 34th year, The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization based in Houston, TX with a mission to preserve, promote and document visionary art environments, provide opportunities for the expression of personal artistic vision and create a community where that expression is valued. The Orange Show owns and operates The Orange Show monument, The Beer Can House and Smither Park, as well as produces the Houston Art Car Parade – the world’s oldest and largest event of its kind. For more information, visit them online at www.orangeshow.org. Funding is provided in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, The Brown Foundation, Houston Endowment, The Cullen Foundation, Wortham Foundation, Silver Eagle Distributors, Ann and James Harithas and Marilyn Oshman as well as private contributions, in-kind support, and volunteer assistance. The Orange Show is a member of Fresh Arts.