Day Trips: Art Car Parade, Houston

Craziest parade in the world will take you on a joyride

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

The Art Car Parade in Houston will have you laughing, crying, and wondering why. Like a Shakespearean comedy, it's all in good fun, although there are more than a few head-scratching moments – but art doesn't need a reason why. For instance, in the 2015 Art Car Parade there was a car covered with toys, plastic jewels, Christmas-tree lights, and a cow skull wired to the grill. Another car was decorated with implements of dental hygiene. There were also rolling masterpieces that resembled a peacock, an airplane, and an outhouse.

This year there are nearly 250 parade entrants including bicycles, scooters, lowriders, roller skaters, city garbage trucks, cars, trucks, boats, forklifts, and unidentified contraptions. Whether visual migraines or pimped-out rides, they are all modern art on wheels. It doesn't have to make sense; it's an art car.

The parade began in 1988 and has grown to become the largest and oldest art car parade in the world. The annual rolling art gallery spawned similar events in Los Angeles, Colorado, Kansas, and even beyond the U.S. As the largest free public event in Houston, the parade attracts gawkers and drivers from around the country out for the ultimate joyride.

The Art Car Parade in Houston encompasses four days, April 7-10. Due to construction on Allen Parkway, the parade route has been altered and condensed. Visit for the new route of the craziest parade in the world.

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Art Car Parade, Houston

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