Best Spectacle - 2003
Art Car Ball
Houston institutions have been done in by many forces through the decades -- "progress," development or sheer stupidity. But success shouldn't be the cause of death. Yet a couple of years ago, there it was: Houston's signature event, the Orange Show's Art Car Ball, bloated and expiring right there on the floor of the Astrodome. The ball had grown up from a street festival to a perfect, near-spontaneous parking garage happening, complete with crazy cars and crazier characters, music and noise and laughter and near-nekkid skaters. When the party simply got too sizable to be managed, the Orange Show called it off in 2002. So it was remarkable to see the resurrection, and the return to roots, of the Art Car Ball in a downtown parking garage this year. Praise more than geezus for this born-again blessing for the Bayou City.