Route change for annual Houston Art Car Parade

- Because of construction along Allen Parkway, the 29th Annual Houston Art Car Parade will take place on Smith Street in downtown Houston.

The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art announced the change to the Houston Art Car Parade scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 9 at 2 p.m. The Smith Street parade route will extend from Pease to Walker streets and loop around Hermann Square and Houston City Hall with a left onto Bagby Street and a right turn onto Lamar Street. The route will pass Sam Houston Park and end at the Pierce Elevated.

Visitors will not be allowed onto Allen Parkway. The parade is projected to return to the banks of Buffalo Bayou for 2017.

The Houston Art Car Parade will include beverage stations, food trucks and gift shops scattered along Smith Street. Visitors can enjoy the Starting Line Party in the intersection of Smith and Pease streets, Parade
Central in front of the Allen Center complex in the intersection of  Smith and Polk streets, and in the intersection of Smith and Lamar streets. The VIPit Experience, a ticketed event that includes reserved seating, entertainment, and complimentary food & beverage, will take place in and around Hermann Square at Houston City Hall.

The weekend art car events will feature almost 250 mobile masterpieces, some of which will represent the efforts of 30 schools and youth groups, in categories that include contraptions, painted vehicles, bikes, skaters and more.

2016 Houston Art Car Parade Weekend chair Curry Glassell, a longtime supporter of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, leads the Houston Art Car Parade committee and its more than 300 volunteers. Michael Ray Charles, a Houston artist and University of Houston School of Art professor, will be the featured artist for the grand event.  

View the following schedule of activities surrounding the parade:

Thursday, April 7

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 five routes throughout Houston, starting from Memorial Park and stopping 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 once they have been finalized is available online at

Happy Hour Thursday at he MFAH
6-8pm – Museum of Fine Arts, Houston – Beck Building, 5601 Main Street* Join the Orange Show and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for a special Happy Hour Thursday at the MFAH! In conjunction with the MFAH’s current exhibition *Sculpted in Steel*, sip on specialty cocktails, enjoy beats from the DJ, bites from the food trucks, and check out the public debut of the *Reagan High School Art Car,* under the instruction of award-winning artist Rebecca Bass. Free to the public!

Friday, April 8

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 parties in Houston, the Legendary Art Car Ball will take place on Friday April 8th 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 feature live music from *The Suspects, Sam "Shake" Anderson, Gio Chamba* and more; a special performance from performance artist *Dan Dunn* and his *PaintJam*; food and drink from *Arnaldo Richards' Picos, Julep, Moving Sidewalk, Double Trouble Caffeine & Cocktails, Katz Coffee and Topo Chico,* and of course art cars!

Guests are encouraged to dress in their most outrageous costume and kick off Houston Art Car Parade Weekend while getting an up close and personal look at some of the most amazing, colorful and artistic art cars in this year's parade. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door, and can be purchased online at

Saturday, April 9

The 29th Annual Houston Art Car Parade!* *11am – 4pm, Parade rolls at 2pm.* For the 29th year, Houston will be home to the largest gathering of Art Cars in the world, with many coming from across the world to participate! The Parade itself kicks off at 2pm with art cars beginning their procession down Smith Street starting at Pease Street, taking a left onto Walker Street, and then a left onto Bagby Street, a right onto Lamar Street and ending at the Pierce Elevated.

The parade route is open to the public beginning at *11am *with the *Starting Line Party at Smith & Pease* complete with music, beverages and art cars.

Parade Central at Smith & Polk Streets *will also open at* 11am* and include music, live parade announcing, beverages, and a large selection of Houston's best food trucks. Attendees are encouraged to get to the parade route early to grab their spot along Smith Street.

*No pop-up tents will be allowed along the parade route*. Food and drink will be available for purchase along the parade route.

Reserved bleacher seating* along Lamar St. in front of Sam Houston Park will be available for purchase for $25 for adults or $15 for kids. Advanced purchases can be made at

The VIPit Experience,* a ticketed event taking place at Hermann Square at City Hall and featuring VIP parking, reserved seating, entertainment, live parade commentary, and food and beverages from wonderful Houston restaurants, opens at *12pm*. Participating restaurants include Arnaldo Richards' Picos, Smither Family Kitchen, Raising Cane's, Natachee's Supper 'n Punch, Saint Arnold's Cafe, Berryhill Baja Grill, Line & Lariat - Hotel Icon, La Fisheria, Good Pop, and Katz Coffee. Tickets for the VIPit Experience are $150 for adults and $25 for children 12 & under, and can be purchased online at

The parade will roll at 2pm and will last approximately 2 hours.*

Sunday, April 10

Houston Art Car Parade Awards Ceremony & Brunch* *12pm – 3pm, Smither Park, 2411 Munger St.* After all the cars have rolled and everyone has retreated from Downtown Smith Street, the Houston Art Car Parade’s committee of judges reviews all of the entries and chooses the winners. The public is invited to come watch these awards be given out – over $14,000 total – while enjoying the last few hours of Houston Art Car Parade Weekend. Brunch and beverages are provided, with donations to the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art encouraged.

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