The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston was the place to see and be seen — with Mayor Sylvester Turner — Monday night as a near-giddy throng celebrated his inauguration at an invitation-only fete.
More than 1,000 supporters, politicos, business leaders and lobbyists joined the packed party scene. Even University of Houston football coach Tom Herman shared a moment with the man of the hour as it seemed that every guest was intent on a photo opp with the city's new leader.
Leading the line-up of notables in the mix were members of the Inaugural Celebration Committee — chair Cindy Clifford, vice-chair Willie Alexander, Ron Franklin and Janet Gurwitch, Zaf Tahir, Janice Weaver, Jonathan Zadok and Kay and Fred Zeidman.
Clifford, working with Susan Christian of the Mayor's Office of Special Events, led the team that raised funds for private sponsorship and produced the party, all in a matter of only 18 days. She tapped Houston Arts Alliance leader Jonathan Glus to assemble entertainment for the evening that reflected the city's diversity.
Guests were entertained by El Rectorado Del Son, Kristine Mills, the Broken Spokes, the Soul Influence, Teo Chew Unicorn, Dragon and Lion Dance Team, the Hustlers Brass Band and more. Rice Epicurean Catering was hired for the grand buffet spread that extended along two sides of the exhibition hall and was over the top impressive, with everything from lobster rolls and a full sushi bar to fajitas, burger sliders, prime rib and a long table laden with desserts.
The museum event followed Sunday night's gathering in Market Square where the entire city was invited to join in the live entertainment and fireworks. Close to 2,000 rocked that inauguration bash.
Monday's VIP crowd included new city controller Chris Brown and wife Divya, C.O. Bradford, Gene Aubrey, Franci Neely, Wanda Adams, Y. Ping Sun and David Leebron, Rhonda Lawrence, Carl Davis, Vernus Swisher, Lainie Gordon and David Mincberg, Suzette Caldwell, Carl Davis and coming in from Dallas State Rep. Helen Giddings and State Sen. Royce West.