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"A zany tribute to the automobile as anything but transportation" - The New York Times

One of Houston's most beloved annual events started as small gatherings of like-minded artists and individuals in the early 1980s - from the creation of Jackie Harris' "Fruitmobile" and the Ann Harithas curated exhibition "Collision" at Lawndale Art Center in 1984, to Rachel Hecker and Trish Herrera's New Music Parade and the Orange Show's "Road Show" in 1986 - all of which featured automobiles that had been transformed by artists into works of art. Then in 1988, the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art produced "Roadside Attractions: The Art Car Parade" with 40 art cars seen by 2,000 people.

Today, The Houston Art Car Parade is the largest celebration of its kind in the world, featuring over 250 entries and attracting 200,000-300,000 spectators as the mobile masterpieces created by artists, students, youth groups, families, organizations and anyone with a passion for creativity roll through downtown Houston every April. The Houston Art Car Parade represents the idea that there is an artist inside all of us, and in doing so offers the opportunity to showcase that inherent creativity on a large scale.



  • The Houston Art Car Parade is FREE and open to everyone! We do have a few ticketed events you'll see below

  • All events are rain or shine

  • Pets are NOT allowed along parade route

  • Firearms and weapons are NOT allowed along the parade route

  • Pop-up shade tents are NOT allowed along parade route due to limited space.

  • You may bring folding chairs and coolers, just please be respectful of your neighbors

  • Street closures will take place starting at 7am and will open back up at 5pm.

  • Access points to parking garages will be via detours within Downtown.

  • Check out our comprehensive FAQ page for questions.


Get the full Houston Art Car Parade experience by arriving to the parade route early! Not only will you be able to mingle with the artists as they get ready for the main event, but there are activities along the route to keep you and your family entertained!

The Starting Line Party
Allen Parkway @ Heiner St.

Get into the Art Car spirit at The Starting Line Party - located near the intersection of Sabine Street and Allen Parkway, just west of the I-45 overpass. A fun, free way to spend a few hours before the parade, enjoy live music on the Saint Arnold stage, food trucks and vendors, shady areas, gift shop, restrooms, and an opportunity to be in the center of the action as the parade starts. 

At 2pm, live parade commentating will take place on the stage - perfect for those interested in learning more about each of the entries as they pass by you. Be sure to bring your camera! 

More Information Coming Soon

H-E-B Kids Creative Zone

Part of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art's mission is to provide opportunities for the expression of personal artistic creativity. So, bring out the whole family to the H-E-B Kids Creative Zone for a wonderful assortment of hands-on art activities that will really get those creative juices flowing!


The H-E-B Kids Creative Zone is FREE for anyone attend!

More Information Coming Soon


The VIPit Experience at The Houston Art Car Parade 

Get the best views of the entire Houston Art Car Parade at the VIPit Experience! The largest fundraiser for the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, tickets to VIPit Experience include complimentary food and beverages from the city's best bars and restaurants, live music, reserved shaded seating with incredible views, children's art activities, swag bags, and more! Individual and group tickets are available.

More Information Coming Soon



Over 250 of the most spectacular rolling works of art in the world rev their engines and make their way through Downtown Houston for the 37th year! Anything from modified vehicles to wacky contraptions to mobile monsters to bike and skater groups will strut their stuff to one of the city's largest crowds all year. 

Spectators are welcome to line up anywhere along the parade route (see the map at the top of the page) to catch a glimpse of this absolutely magical production. Gift shops, restrooms, beverage booths, food trucks, and more are dotted along the parade route for your convenience, and parking instructions can be found by visiting our FAQ page

Powered by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art with help from our sponsors, the Houston Art Car Parade promotes the freedom of creative expression and the "drive to create," and is FREE to attend for anyone and everyone interested in celebrating this unique type of art.

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