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Art Car Ball/Sneak Peek

Flamin' Hellcats ignite the Art Car Parade's kickoff ball back home at the Orange Show.

By combining two things Houstonians are most passionate about — automobiles and art — the Art Car Parade has become one of Houston's signature events, and is expected to draw more than 250,000 people when Blues Brother and 2010 parade grand marshal Dan Aykroyd (see right) leads the vehicular procession down Allen Parkway Saturday afternoon. Before that, though, official kickoff event The Art Car Ball returns to the parade's home base at the Orange Show Thursday for the first time in eight years with a handful of local-music evergreens: Chameleonic modern-rockers the Southern Backtones and swaggering vatobillies Flamin' Hellcats keep things hopping on the inside stage, while surfy Buddy Holly rockers Herschel Berry & the Natives and swampy Janis Joplin tributeers Kozmic Pearl take over outside. The next night, red-eyed Austin dub crew Grimy Styles and the seXXXy Prince jamz of the capital city's podiatry-obsessed Foot Patrol serenade the free "Sneak Peek" preview, as many of Saturday's participants roll past Discovery Green downtown. See more information on the parade itself in Night & Day, page 20.

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