Guide to Houston’s Art Car Parade

art car

The Houston Art Car Parade is a beloved Houston tradition that has been entertaining locals and visitors alike since its inception in 1986. Every spring, Houston’s downtown streets are filled with hundreds of art cars – vehicles transformed into colorful works of art by their creative owners. The parade showcases the fun and funkiness of Houston culture, as well as the creativity and ingenuity of the city’s residents. If you’re looking for an exciting way to celebrate Houston’s vibrant art scene, then you won’t want to miss this amazing event that attracts 300,000 attendees each year!

Orange Show Center for Visionary Art

The Houston Art Car Parade is hosted every year by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Houston’s unique culture and art scene. Founded in 1977, the Orange Show has since become a beloved Houston institution that celebrates the city’s vibrant spirit of creativity and self-expression.

Each spring, they bring together hundreds of art cars from around Houston – vehicles transformed into colorful works of art by their creative owners – and host what many consider to be one of Houston’s most exciting events. The parade showcases both Houston’s funkiness as well as its artistic ingenuity – an event that no fan of Houston culture should miss!

Cars as Art

When and Where

This year, the 36th Annual Houston Art Car Parade will take place on Saturday, April 15, 2023 from 11am-4pm in Houston’s historic downtown district.

The best seats are in the VIPit at Hermann Square in front of Houston’s City Hall, but you can watch the parade for free along the parade route. We suggest bringing a chair or blanket to sit on, along with bottled water.

Getting to the Houston Art Car Parade

Paid Parking in Houston’s Downtown District

Houston’s downtown district is full of paid parking options for visitors attending the Houston Art Car Parade. With so many lots to choose from, visitors can easily find a spot near the parade route and avoid potential traffic jams on the day of the event.

Some of Houston’s best-known parking facilities are located in Houston’s downtown district, including Houston City Hall Parking Garage and Houston Theater District Park One. We suggest choosing a lot a couple of blocks away from the parade route to minimize traffic when the crowds leave.

Using the METRORail from Midtown

Houston’s METRORail is the perfect way to travel from Midtown Houston to downtown Houston for the Houston Art Car Parade. With just a few stops and an easy-to-use system, it takes only minutes to get from Ensemble Station in Midtown Houston to Main Street Square Station in downtown Houston. This makes it one of the most convenient ways to get around on parade day and avoid potential traffic jams.

Starting from Lodgeur at Mid Main Lofts, you will take the northbound Red Line of the METRORail from the Ensemble Station next to Mid Main Lofts. Four stops later, you step of the METRORail at the Market Street Square Station. From that station, a quick walk four blocks west along McKinney Street will land you in the heart of the Art Car Parade near the Houston Public Library and City Hall.

Check out our guide to using the METRORail.

Houston’s Art Car Parade is too good to miss

Houston’s Art Car Parade is a unique and festive celebration of Houston culture that brings together hundreds of art cars created by creative owners. Hosted each year by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Arts, visitors can enjoy free viewing along the parade route or purchase VIPit seating in Hermann Square near Houston City Hall. There are plenty of parking options downtown to avoid traffic jams on parade day as well as convenient access via METRORail from Midtown Houston. With so much fun and funkiness to experience, don’t miss out on experiencing Houston’s vibrant art scene at this amazing event!

Skip to content