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Houston art cars return for 3-day experience in May

The 2021 Houston Art Car Experience is set to take place May 14 to May 16 at the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art.

HOUSTON — Houston’s popular art cars are returning this year in a new format: a 3-day experience just south of downtown.

Editor's note: The video above is about the Houston Art Car Parade in 2019.

The 2021 Houston Art Car Experience is set to take place May 14 to May 16 at the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, 2334 Gulf Terminal Road. The Orange Show typically produces the Art Car Parade each year, but due to ongoing restrictions with COVID-19, the organization has instead put together the May event to give visitors up-close access to see, learn and interact with 80 art cars while maintaining social distancing.

“The Houston Art Car Experience will allow the public to more closely engage with the art than they have in the past, 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,” said Tommy Ralph Pace, Orange Show Center for Visionary Art executive director.

Visitors who purchase a $10 ticket ($5 for kids 12 and under) at www.artcarexperience.com will get access to the Houston Art Car Parade Experience By Day starting at their selected ticket time. When they arrive, visitors can embark on the .25-mile long Art Car Walk with a digital self-guided tour through a maze of art cars, each with a unique QR code that when scanned with a smartphone will give the visitor audio and video clips of the artist speaking about their work.

The Art Car Walk features a curated selection of entries from previous Houston Art Car Parades, vehicles built by student groups, art cars whose owners drive them daily, low riders, SLABs, painted cars, contraptions, mobile sculptures and more. Children’s crafts, food and drinks and art car merchandise will be available for visitors.

On Friday and Saturday evening, the space will transform into the Houston Art Car Experience By Night featuring live music, light and projection art installations, elaborate costumes, special performances and more. The lineup for music and art will be announced April 1. Tickets for the Houston Art Car Experience By Night start at $40 with reserved VIP sections of 4 available for $1,000. Funds from ticket sales will directly benefit the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art and its production of the 35th Annual Houston Art Car Parade Weekend, scheduled for April 7 to April 10, 2022.

COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS

  • The Houston Art Car Experience will take place throughout a 5-acre outdoor campus, no guests will be allowed indoors at any time.
  • Limited tickets will be available for all aspects of the Houston Art Car Experience. 250 individual tickets per hour will be available for the Houston Art Car Experience By Day, and each Houston Art Car Experience By Night event will be capped at 500 attendees.
  • Guests attending the Houston Art Car Experience By Day are encouraged to limit their stay on the property for 60-90 minutes to allow for social distancing.
  • All guests will be required to wear a face covering while on the property.
  • All staff, volunteers, and vendors will have daily temperature checks, must pass a COVID-19 questionnaire prior to beginning their shift, and will be required to wear face coverings at all times.
  • Restrooms will be cleaned and sanitized regularly.
  • Hand washing and hand-sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the venue.
  • Signage encouraging social distancing will be prominent throughout the venue.

Tickets are sold on the hour starting at 10 a.m. with the last entry at 4 p.m. On-site parking will be available as well as an overflow lot. Ride-share drop-offs/pick-ups will be directed to 2401 Munger Street, Houston, TX 77024. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.