I am always looking for unique opportunities for my family to get outside, explore different parts of our city, and be creative. That is why I was so excited to tell my kids about Houston’s first-ever Art Bike Festival, happening on May 21. The Art Bike Festival is presented by the Houston Parks Board, Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, and Houston ISD.
Houston’s Art Bike Festival
The Art Bike Festival is the perfect FREE event for families this month. Building on the success of the iconic Art Car Parade, the Art Bike Festival will bring together Houstonians of all ages to celebrate Houston’s great parks and trails through art and creativity.
Registration for the Art Bike Festival not required, but interested participants and attendees are encouraged to register online by May 15 at houstonartbike.com, especially those eager to participate in the parade portion of the day.
The festival will kick off at the City of Houston’s MacGregor Park at 9 am. At 10 am, the inaugural Art Bike Parade will roll through MacGregor Park. This is open to all who are interested in participating.
Following the parade, group art bike rides from MacGregor Park to Fonde Park will take place along Brays Bayou Greenway. The ride is approximately 2.1 miles one-way and does not cross any major streets. The trail is safe for children and adults to ride, but the festival organizers ask that all children under 12 are accompanied by an adult.
Designing Your Art Bike
The Art Bike Festival is such a fun opportunity for kids and parents alike to show off their creativity and personalities through art. Art bikes can be as simple or as completely transformational as you wish. You can use materials like paint, metal, sculpture, foam, wood, and embellishments such as buttons, coins, toys, or any materials that you can glue on.
And for those who don’t ride traditional bikes, not to worry. Art Bikes can come in all shapes and sizes, from one-wheeled unicycles to multi-wheeled contraptions. Chariots, wagons, wheelchairs, wheeled sculptures, performances on wheels, adult tricycles, human-powered dune buggies, pedal couches-just about anything you can imagine!
Other Ways to Get Involved
If you don’t want to design your own bike for the Art Bike festival, there are still ways to participate! You can attend the parade as a spectator and cheerleader, and/or attend the post-parade festivities at Fonde Park and Smither Park.
The post-parade festivities begin at noon and will include interactive art and craft activities from a variety of community and partner organizations, live music from Dem Roots Music, and children and community group performances. There will also be complimentary food and beverages, as well as food for purchase from local food trucks and vendors.
For those who can’t make it to the event, you can still make time on May 21 to celebrate from home. whether that’s riding your bike or doing family arts and crafts, the Art Bike Festival wants to see it! Post on social media and post using the hashtag #HoustonArtBikeFestival.
The HISD Fine Arts Department has played an integral role in making the vision for the Art Bike Festival a reality. In 2020, HPB and OSCVA donated more than 250 bikes to HISD for students to kick-start their own Art Bike project and participate in the parade, which was originally slated for May 2020.
Visual arts instruction is built to develop learners to think like an artist, be creative, curious, playful, and not afraid to fail. This formula helps produce citizens ready to enter the global economy as productive, successful individuals, articulate communicators, and inventors. More than 100 HISD campuses will participate in the rescheduled Art Bike Festival, engaging approximately 3,000 students district-wide.
I can’t wait to get started on our family’s art bikes and to see what my kids come up with! We can’t wait for May 21 to witness all the creativity our city has to offer. Hope to see you there!