The First-Ever Art Bike Festival Is Next Weekend! Here’s the Wheel Deal

Photo by Morris Malakoff

SUMMER CAME EARLY this year, but just in time for Houston’s inaugural Art Bike Festival, a “city-wide celebration of human-powered art on wheels."


The free, family-friendly, day-long celebration gets rolling May 21 at 9am in MacGregor Park, where participants of all ages will gather for a city-wide parade of elaborately and artistically decorated uni-, bi-, tri-, quad- and multi-wheeled cycles. Among those riding are students from more than 100 HISD schools piloting 250-plus bikes, donated to the festival by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art (OSCVA). Cyclists will navigate the trails along Bayou Greenway from MacGregor Park to Fonde Park to OSCVA’s mosaic-filled Smither Park.

Since 1988, OSCVA has organized Houston’s annual Art Car Parade, which began with just a single car — a beat-up station wagon transformed by artist Jackie Harris into a colorful “Fruitmobile” — has grown into one of the city’s major cultural events. (It’s a safe bet the term “Art Car” was invented in Houston.) Art bikes have always been a part of the Art Car Parade, so it makes total sense OSCVA decided to collaborate with the Houston Parks Board, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department and the Mayor’s Office of Special Events to realize a dedicated Art Bike Festival, which encourages the potential for creative artistic expression as it exists in everyone.

Mayor Sylvester Turner gets it and is super enthused about the festival. “I invite people of all ages to participate,” he says. “Houston is filled with creative types who will undoubtably showcase their brilliant handiwork at this event. And much like the Art Car Parade, this festival is sure to become another destination event for Houston.”

Houstonians interested in participating in the Art Bike Parade are encouraged to register online by May 15. Oh, and don’t forget to bring water and wear sunscreen!

Photo by Danitza Ladwig

Photo by Danitza Ladwig

Photo by Danitza Ladwig

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