HOUSTON'S ART CAR Parade is iconic, the largest event of its kind in the world. And for anyone who's ever wanted to see the motorized masterpieces up close, the Orange Show is revving up an incredible, unique experience for 2021.
This year, dozens of Art Cars won't roll through Downtown, with crowds of thousands gathered to spectate. Instead, the Houston Art Car Experience will be parked at the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art's five-acre campus off I-45 near UH May 14-16. Here, socially distanced revelers will be able to walk around a maze of showpieces while enjoying a digital self-guided tour.
"The Houston Art Car Experience will allow the public to more closely engage with the art than they have in the past," says the Orange Show's Tommy Ralph Pace, "while also enjoying the aspects of Houston Art Car Weekend that they have grown to love: community partnerships, artistic collaborations, incredible musical entertainment, and the joy that comes from a true freedom of artistic expression."
The 2019 Art Car Parade (photo by Morris Malakoff)
Families can plan to visit the Orange Show HQ on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the hours of 10am-5pm. Tickets for assigned time slots should be purchased in advance, and gusts are encouraged to cap their visits at 90 minutes. In addition to food, drinks, crafts and merch, the experience boasts a quarter-mile Art Car Walk, throughout which visitors can scan each vehicle's QR code to learn more about the making of the low riders, SLABs, mobile sculptures and others.
And for the first time, the general public will be able to view and appreciate the Art Cars at night, during an illuminated celebration that was previously reserved for the Art Car Ball kickoff event. From 7pm-11pm on Friday and Saturday, the Art Car Parade Experience By Night will include unique art installations, costumes, live music, cocktails and more; VIP tickets are available, too. Let's roll!