Motor Away

Jackie Harris' Fruitmobile
Harrod Blank

Generally, we think Houston is yucky. Not that this stems from any Texas metropolitan area rivalry, but Houston has always seemed overcrowded and dirty with an unconscionable level of humidity. Like stumbling home after a long night at a dive bar, a sojourn in Houston leaves us feeling coated with sweat and grime and with the residue of vomit on our shoes. So, there has to be something pretty darn exciting going on in H-town to make us consider leaving the Big D. Like maybe a promenade of cars festooned with spoons, plastic lobsters or bleach bottles. If you won't drive 250 miles to see an automobile covered with hundreds of Pez dispensers, how about a motorized sofa? Or a scooter shaped like a flamingo? Fortunately for you, the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art's Ev1.Net Art Car Weekend has the craziness on wheels that you crave.

This year's event hosts more than 250 entries from 17 states and Canada, and entries range from unicycles to lawn mowers to cars and vans. Since 1984, this Houston art car parade has been dazzling crowds with an ever-changing assortment of wacky "decorated, augmented or otherwise decked-out wheeled vehicles." The weekend-long event begins Friday night with the Main Squeeze, a block party featuring a scavenger hunt, live music and, of course, art cars. The big show, Everyone's Art Car Parade, rolls from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, beginning at Allen Parkway and Taft. The madness concludes at Sunday's Surreal Brunch/Awards Ceremony at 11 a.m., where the CarBQ will be fired up to serve eggs, barbecue, breakfast tacos and mimosas. More than $9,800 in awards will also be handed out. If you must venture to the soul-crushing cement wasteland that is Houston, it might as well be to see something as cool as a Jeep CJ7 called "The Iron Maiden. "

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