Houston/ Arts & Culture
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Published on April 15, 2024
Houston's 37th Annual Art Car Parade Dazzles With Creative Mastery as 250,000 Spectators Revel in the PageantrySource: The Houston Art Car Parade

The rubber met the road, and the result was an eye-popping cavalcade of color that could only mean one thing: Houston's Art Car Parade hit the streets once again, turning heads and dropping jaws. The annual spectacle, now in its 37th year, drew a crowd of some 250,000 onlookers on April 13 to witness over 250 entrants compete for more than just bragging rights, but cash prizes as well.

Organisers of The Orange Show crowned this year's winners with a cash pool of $15,000. The Houston Chronicle reported that the top honors in the highly anticipated Art Car category were snagged by "Orange Horse," created by David Best, while "The Ploppet" by Claire and Kyle Johnson, The Ploppets Team, took home the Ann Harithas Legacy Award. They weren't alone in their triumphs as multiple artists and enthusiasts across varied categories found themselves in the spotlight, celebrating their unique brand of vehicular creativity.

Not to be outdone, Brock Wagner, founder of Saint Arnold Brewing Company, was this year's grand marshal, perhaps not-coincidentally marking the brewery's 30th anniversary - a nod to local legacy and communal spirit that the parade embodies. As reported by KHOU, the parade featured an eclectic and eccentric lineup of mobile masterpieces, including everything from lavishly decorated cars and trucks to the more unconventional bicycles, unicycles, and even lawnmowers.

For those who chose to brave the downtown hustle, Houston drivers had navigate street closures that began days prior to the parade. Strategic roadblocks on mainstays such as McKinney St. and Bagby St. set the stage for the procession of festive rides. All the while, food trucks, drinks, and available restrooms along the parade route ensured that parade-goers' comfort was not an oversight in amidst all the revelry. If you missed out on the action or just want to relive the vibrancy of the occasion, a clutch of photo-worthy moments from 2022's parade ought to suffice until next year rolls around.