Katherine Smith, of Jarrettsville, Md., glued 8,000 colored ping pong balls on an old 1971 Volkswagen Beetle named “The Last Cup.” Art cars will – hopefully – be on display this weekend during the Moab Arts Festival. (Courtesy photo)

This is the first year for the Transp*ART*ation art car parade in Moab, and organizer Laurie Collins is anxious to see how it will go.

The idea was simple: Encourage artists and others, from Moab and afar, to decorate their vehicles.

They’d host a workshop at WabiSabi Thriftique the entire week leading up to the parade. Kids could come to decorate their bikes, wagons, scooters, anything with wheels. Parents could decorate strollers, wheelbarrows, whatever.

Then all the creativity would culminate with Saturday’s parade, which leaves the Center Street ball fields at 10 a.m. Saturday and heads toward Swanny City Park where the Moab Arts Festival will be underway.

But, so far, not many have shown an interest.

You can see why Collins, director of the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, is nervous.

“At one point,” she said, “we had five art cars. Every single one has canceled. Now, we’ve got new ones. It’s a career that doesn’t like to plan. We’re just putting this out into the world and seeing who will decorate something and show up.”

She knows at least one local man who’s using lizards to decorate his car, she said, and she knows several local children, too, who will take part.

It’s safe to say at least five cars will be on display, she said.

But she’s hoping others will show up, too.

She’s hoping they’ll surprise her.

Collins will be at the WabiSabi Thriftique Thursday and Friday afternoons, May 24 and 25, from noon to 6 p.m. to help children, grown-ups, anyone decorate their wheels. Most supplies are provided, so really, there’s nothing to lose, she said.

The hope is that folks will stop by, decorate something and then participate in Saturday’s parade, which is meant to highlight “moving art.”

As part of the “Tinkershop” on Friday, May 25, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Wild Rumpus circus folks will lead a “Bumblebee Moving Art Workshop” at the WabiSabi Thriftique. There, kids and others can make large flowers, bees and other puppets to take home and use in the parade Saturday.

For more information, stop by WabiSabi in the afternoons or call the MARC at 435-259-6272. Also, check out the MARC online at www.moabmarc.com.