May 10, 2024 - News

Houston Art Bike Parade rolls Saturday

art bikes line up for the 2023 Art Bike Parade in Houston

Colors galore at Houston's 2023 Art Bike Parade. Photo: Jay R. Jordan/Axios

Hundreds of artful bicycles will be ridden through Houston's historic MacGregor Park tomorrow in the third annual Art Bike Parade.

Why it matters: The parade will highlight not only Houstonians' love of mobile art (particularly the pedal-powered variety) but also the park itself, which soon will be transformed through a $54 million renovation.

  • Plus, local rapper Bun B will be there to hand out awards for the most creative bikes.

Driving the news: The Orange Show for Visionary Arts joined forces with the Houston Parks Board to put on the parade and festival 10am-1pm Saturday.

  • The event features Mother's Day activities, including a photo booth, card making and alcohol-free "momosas." Also, representatives from the design team leading the changes at the park will be there to talk with residents about the plans.

At the heart of the celebration are more than 200 Houston ISD students who decorated bicycles with their teachers in the months leading up to the parade.

  • On top of showing off their creations to the community, students and community participants have the chance to win coveted awards from a panel of judges.

What they're saying: "It's going to be fun, creative and a little bit wacky," Beth White, president and CEO of the Houston Parks Board, tells Axios. "The artists and the art teachers really embrace this and work with the kids to express themselves."

Meanwhile, the park's upcoming transformation, slated to begin in 2025, is well on its way to becoming a reality, White says.

  • Those changes include a renovated tennis center and pool, more greenspace, and an amphitheater.

The intrigue: A major aspect of the park upgrades will be connecting it to the nearby Brays Bayou Greenway hike and bike trail, White says.

  • The move is part of the park board's commitment to connect more parks to its bayou greenway system, which consists of more than 150 miles of trails throughout the Bayou City.

Between the lines: Mayor John Whitmire — whom advocates fear is deemphasizing street safety improvements like bike lanes — will not attend the parade Saturday due to a scheduling conflict.

Yes, but: Vice Mayor Pro Tem Amy Peck will be there, as well as other City Council members and staff.

If you go: MacGregor Park is located at 5225 Calhoun Road.

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