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A weekend in Houston for the Art Car Parade was well worth the trip. by Erin Z. Bass Houston's Art Car Parade dates back to 1984, when artist Jackie Harris covered a Ford station wagon with plastic fruit. The "Fruitmobile" was auctioned off at The Orange Show Foundation's annual gala, then donated back, symbolizing its first official "art car." After the Lawndale Art Center featured two art cars in an exhibit that same year, art cars began driving the streets of Houston. This led to a parade of cars down Montrose Boulevard two years later, finally culminating in a "Road Show" of 11 art cars, including the Fruitmobile, on June 29, 1986. The official Art Car Parade was born in April of 1988, consisting of 40 cars and an estimated 2,000 spectators. Today, the annual parade attracts over 250 vehicles (I use this word loosely) from 23 states and an audience of over 250,000 people. Parade entries include anything on wheels, whether it be an actual car, van, bus, bike, go-cart or rolling port-o-let (pictured right). Since 1991, the event has also included a pre-parade caravan of art cars called the Main Street Drag that stops at schools, hospitals and community centers. The

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