ORANGE HUTTO HIPPO CAR

23 May

ORANGE HUTTO HIPPO CAR DEBUTS BEFORE 300,000 AT THE ORANGE SHOW HOUSTON ART
CAR PARADE

The hippo car from Hutto, Texas has just participated in the Houston Art Car
Parade and auxiliary events this past weekend. The Houston Art Car Parade is
the largest, oldest and best art car parade on the planet with over 250
entries including many “teams” with multiple vehicles/entourages viewed by
crowds estimated to be 300,000 strong. Harmony, the hippo car, was the only
entry representing an entire community in the Houston Art Car Parade this
year and will also appear in other Central Texas area parades and events.
Hutto is the  “Official Hippo Capital of Texas” and the only school district
and community in the United States with the hippo as their collective
mascot.

Mike Fowler, former Mayor of Hutto and President of Hippos Unlimited, a.k.a.
“Hutto Hippos”, drove the hippo car in the Houston Art Car Parade on Sunday,
May 22nd. His wife, Donna Fowler, dressed as the Mad Hatter rode on top of
the hippo car entertaining the very large audience with her theatrical
antics and blowing bubbles for the crowds. Donna Fowler is a pharmacist at
Round Rock Medical Center, is a member of Texas-3 Disaster Medical
Assistance Team (Donna coincidentally attended a required DMAT meeting in
nearby Friendswood on Saturday) and is very active in the Hutto community.

Harmony, the hippo car, was adopted by Round Rock Auto Group and was
repainted orange to coincide with Hutto school colors by Round Rock
Collision Center, a part of Round Rock Auto Group. Round Rock Auto Group,
located right off of IH35 at Exit 254 in Round Rock, sells new Toyota,
Honda, Hyundai, Scion and Smart vehicles as well as quality used vehicles of
all makes.

Sue Shefman graciously hosted Donna and Mike Fowler in her home and
throughout Houston for the three day event beginning with the Art Car Ball
presented by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art on Friday, May 20th,
held at the Orange Show Monument. On Saturday the three of them along with
their hippo cars attended the pre-parade “Sneak Peek” party in downtown
Houston held at Discovery Green Park.  It was just a few years ago that Sue
Shefman of Houston graciously donated her original purple hippo car named
Harmony to Hippos Unlimited for use in Hutto and area parades as well as
other community events. In the fall of 2010, Harmony received a much needed
new orange paint job and facelift courtesy of the Round Rock Auto Group
Collision Center. Donna Fowler said: “This is one of the most fun filled
weekends I’ve ever had! Seeing the extremely creative and eclectic car
creations and creative people behind them was fabulous.  Sue Shefman was a
real mentor and guide for us at these three days of incredible events.
Anyone that has not seen the Houston Art Car is absolutely missing out on a
smile filled unique event. To be able to participate and see the event from
atop Hutto’s hippo car was truly amazing.”

Sue Shefman is one of the original members of an international hippo lovers
group, “Hippolotofus”, that first came to Hutto for the 2003 Olde Tyme Days
celebration where she and Harmony and  forty other Hippolotofus members also
participated in the Hutto Olde Tyme Days Parade and festivities. Since then;
via Hippos Unlimited, Harmony the hippo car has participated in the past
three Hutto Olde Tyme Days parades, the first 2010 Hutto Fireman’s parade
and several other community and area events.

Harmony is a 1996 Toyota RAV4 that spent the first four years as a car and
has now been a hippo for more than a decade. Harmony has now appeared in
eight Houston Art Car Parades, which is the world’s largest and oldest art
car parade. In this 24th Houston Art Car Parade, Harmony was driven as entry
#12 in the parade by Mike Fowler behind Sue Shefman’s red hippo car named
Cheerio, entry #11. Cheerio assumed the personalized license plate, “POTAMI”
that had previously been assigned to Harmony. Both the orange and red hippo
art cars are one of a kind creations made by deceased art car artist, Tom
Kennedy.

When not in parades and special events, Harmony, the hippo car, is often
located at Round Rock Auto Group amongst other members in her family of
Toyotas.

Special thanks are due to all that have helped with Harmony, the Hutto Hippo
Car.

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