The annual Houston Art Car Parade was yesterday. I never go; the entire parade invariably shows up on half a dozen photoblogs within a few days of the parade, and I get to enjoy the art without going and standing in the hot May sun for three hours. But this year, the Grand Marshal was Dan Aykroyd, and fangirl couldn't pass up the chance to holla at one of her idols in person. So I put on my jungle-green-clay-brown-and-blue tie-dyed handkerchief-hem sundress and a thick coating of SPF 40 sunscreen, tied my hair up under a broad-brimmed sunhat, and carted myself, my backpack, a camp chair, and a large bottle of orange sports drink up to Allen Parkway to mingle with the crowd and find a semi-shady seat to watch.
I wandered around and ran into C., one of the Tribal Lilies, followed by oxflop
and Rev. B. Somewhere around in here, I apparently managed to miss Dan the Man himself by a few minutes. Then quantumduck
wandered past. I determined that where they'd camped their chairs was farther than I wanted to walk, and then was distracted by the first of two Ecto-1's in the parade - and its crew, in full movie-style uniform. Okay, their jumpsuits were in beige instead of off-grey and didn't have the proper yellow tubes, but other than that their kits and packs were pretty good. Their Ecto was a fairly recent-model car, but the kit on the roof rack was awesome - not a slavish reconstruction, but most of it was there, and what wasn't was replaced by something that could plausibly be a new-and-improved version. They'd come all the way from Minnesota; I ended up chatting with their Egon-analogue for a good ten minutes or so.
The next car in line was a Bluesmobile, crewed with a tall skinny guy with a harmonica and a shorter, huskier guy who was cajoling passers-by into singing with them; they had two mikes and an amp with karaoke versions of '60s R&B blaring and were singing along pretty credibly. They had just roped a female Ghostbuster in jumpsuit but without a pack into singing "Land of 1000 Dances" with them, which was kind of awesome.
The other Ecto was on the other side of the Bluesmobile; the kit on top looked, well, incomplete, but the car itself was, while not the exact ambulance, a vehicle of roughly the right era and shape. It was being piloted by the lady 'Buster being entertained by the faux Elwood and Jake and another guy in similar kit; their uniforms were movie-based, but the car looked more like cartoon-Ecto. I didn't get a chance to chat them up, but I'm guessing they were from the local franchise.
The parade itself was a lot of fun, and included a number of tractor-, lawnmower-, motorcycle-, scooter-, and bicycle-based entries, including starcat_jewel
's and RA-not-on-LJ's tie-dyed tandem. There were several bands on floats, including the Tribal Lilies and the Hightailers on Last Concert Cafe's entry, and a few others with canned music and live dancers. Aykroyd appeared to be genuinely enjoying himself; he didn't have the I'm-a-celebrity-and-this-is-a-public-
appearance look that he occasionally has in interviews. But then, I'd have guessed that funky folk art and old refurbished vehicles would be right up his alley, anyway. (The live music probably didn't hurt on that score, either.)
As soon as various people's photos go up, I'll post links to some of the more interesting entries and the three movie tributes listed above.
I managed not to get sunburned except for a small patch on my back I apparently missed when sunscreening, and didn't get too badly dehydrated, but I need to invest in some better walking shoes - by the time I got back home, my feet were sore and rather tired, and it's really not that long a hike.