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 www.thehoustonartcarparade.com for the new route of the craziest parade in the world.


1,289th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 40312, South Austin, TX 78704.

Follow "Day Trips & Beyond," a weekly travel blog, at austinchronicle.com/daily/travel.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Day Trips
Day Trips: Drive-Through Wildlife Parks
Day Trips: Drive-Through Wildlife Parks
Take a drive on the wild side at these animal parks

Gerald E. McLeod, Aug. 14, 2020

Day Trips: Sebastopol House Historic Site, Seguin
Day Trips: Sebastopol House Historic Site, Seguin
Historic limecrete mansion honors Black entrepreneurship

Gerald E. McLeod, Aug. 7, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Art Car Parade, Houston

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle