Houston Art Car Parade

Location Description

For photography enthusiasts, the Houston Art Car Parade is an incredibly unique and enjoyable event to attend. The parade takes place in Downtown Houston, specifically on Smith Street and Allen Parkway, starting at the intersection of Waugh Drive and ending at Bagby Street. Located at 815 Crosby St, Houston, TX 77019, this attraction draws local and international visitors to capture the colorful, bizarre, and flamboyant sides of Houston's car culture. With the backdrop of the Houston Skyline, photographers can get creative in capturing the unique perspectives of the art cars passing by. Additionally, the parade offers plenty of opportunities to capture candid shots of parade-goers and their reactions to the unusual displays. Whether you are an experienced photographer or someone who loves to capture moments in time, the Houston Art Car Parade is an event you won't want to miss.

What to Photograph

The Houston Art Car Parade is a visual feast for any photographer looking for a unique and vibrant subject. The Art Cars themselves, which serve as the main attraction, are decorated with an eccentric mix of colorful paint, found objects, and eclectic designs. Capturing these cars in motion can be a challenge, but with the right camera settings, photographers can create stunning images of the moving parade. In addition to the Art Cars, the parade attracts many imaginatively dressed and enthusiastic parade-goers who become willing subjects for candid shots. Capturing these people and their reactions to the parade adds an extra layer of creativity and storytelling to the photographer's portfolio. To capture the best shots, it is recommended that photographers arrive early to secure a good spot and experiment with different angles and compositions to capture the complete experience of the Houston Art Car Parade.


The Houston Art Car Parade is a beloved tradition that began in 1986 when local artist and teacher, Ann Harithas, organized a small parade of homemade art cars. It is now the largest art car parade in the world, attracting over 250 art cars and more than 300,000 visitors annually. The parade has not only become a signature event for the city of Houston but also a significant platform for artists to showcase their unique artistic styles. Over the years, the parade has inspired various art car communities, leading to the creation of similar parades in other cities. The Houston Art Car Parade is not only a celebration of art and creativity but also a reflection of Houston's diverse and vibrant culture.

To get the most out of the Houston Art Car Parade, photographers should not limit themselves to just capturing the art cars in motion. A secret tip for photographers is to also focus on the details and the small moments of the event. The event offers plenty of opportunities for photographers to capture candid shots of the parade-goers, the performers, and the volunteers who make the event possible. Walking around the parade offers an excellent opportunity to capture the people and their stories, creating a narrative surrounding the event. Another tip for photographers is to experiment with different camera settings, especially during the evening when the parade is illuminated with colorful lights and vibrant reflections of the city skyline. Whether you're a professional photographer or an amateur, the Houston Art Car Parade offers countless opportunities to create unique and memorable images.

Nearby Festivals and Events

  • Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (March) - A 20-day event featuring rodeo performances, carnival rides, concerts, and food.
  • Bayou City Art Festival (March) - An outdoor art festival showcasing original works of art by over 300 artists.
  • Mayfest (May) - A family-friendly festival featuring live music, carnival rides, games, art vendors, and food.
  • Texas Renaissance Festival (October-November) - A medieval-themed festival with live performances, jousting tournaments, artisans, costume contests, and food.
  • Houston Fine Art Fair (November) - A three-day event showcasing contemporary and modern art from around the world.
  • Houston Marathon (January) - One of the largest marathons in the United States, featuring a 26.2-mile course through the city.

These annual events and festivals offer a variety of subjects and photographic opportunities for those interested in capturing the culture and vibrancy of Houston. From the colorful and festive Bayou City Art Festival to the medieval-themed Texas Renaissance Festival, these events provide ample opportunities for photographers to explore and experiment with different techniques and settings. Whether you're interested in capturing candid shots of performers or creating intricate compositions of the carnival rides, Houston's annual events and festivals are certainly a must-visit for any photography enthusiasts.


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  • Most of these locations are private property and may not allow visitors without calling first. They may also not allow portrait/pro photography. Always call ahead and ask permission before arriving.

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  • (Last updated: May 17, 2023 20:53:55)



    815 Crosby St
    Houston, TX 77019

    (17.8 mi / 26 mins)


    • Establishment
    • Festival
    • Intersection
    • Outdoors
    • Point of Interest

    Season to Visit

    Some places are best to visit in certain seasons:
    • January
    • March
    • May
    • October
    • November

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