Houston Billionaire Parties

Houston billionaire turns Galveston into Monaco with glamorous Mardi Gras that draws astronauts & Giffords

Houston billionaire turns Galveston into Monaco with wild Mardi Gras

38 Tilman and Paige Fertitta with the court at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Hosts Tilman and Paige Fertitta pose with the Knights of Momus duchesses before the party starts rocking. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
57 The venue with Sister Sledge at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Sister Sledge rocks the crowd at the San Luis Salute. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
23 Scott Kelly, from left, Amiko Kauderer, Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Scott Kelly, from left, Amiko Kauderer, Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
49 Rodney and Licia Ellis, from left, and Carol Alvarado and NAME at the San Luis Salute February 2015
State Sen. Rodney Ellis, from left, Licia Green-Ellis, Carol Alvarado and Manuel Silva III. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
44 Gayle Lampson at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Gayle Lampson in girlie heaven with the "painted" models. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
56 Beau Yarbrough and Erin Kay at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Beau Yarbrough and Erin Kay. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
35 Rachel and Jeff Bagwell at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Rachel and Jeff Bagwell. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
28 Michael Fertitta, from left, Vic and Joy Fertitta and Patrick Fertitta at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Michael Fertitta, from left, Vic and Joy Fertitta and Patrick Fertitta. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
43 Virginia Seiler, from left, Morgan Burger and Georgia Russell at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Virginia Seiler, from left, Morgan Burger and Georgia Russell. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
34 Dave and Heidi Jacquin, from left, and Maria and Neil Bush at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Dave and Heidi Jacquin, from left, and Maria and Neil Bush. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
25 Diane Lokey Farb and Mark Sullivan at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Diane Lokey Farb and Mark Sullivan. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
32 Paige and Tilman Fertitta at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Paige and Tilman Fertitta. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
8 Jim Ware, from left, Carter Ware, Dancie Ware and Lane Ware at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Jim Ware, from left, Carter Ware, Dancie Ware and Lane Ware. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
15 Lane Craft, from left, Chita Johnson, Captain Bob Shannon, Miya Shay and Gene Wu at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Lane Craft, from left, Chita Johnson, Captain Bob Shannon, Miya Shay and State Rep. Gene Wu. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
54 Laura and Dave Ward at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Laura and Dave Ward. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
20 Tara and David Wuthrich at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Tara and David Wuthrich. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
10 Ellie and Michael Francisco at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Ellie and Michael Francisco. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
12 Bill Ansell and Alex Brown at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Knights of Momus King Bill Ansell and Queen Alex Brown. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
26 Gary and Deanna Barton at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Gary and Deanna Barton. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
17 Ron Moore, left, and Jason Davis at the San Luis Salute February 2015
Ron Moore, left, and Jason Davis. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
38 Tilman and Paige Fertitta with the court at the San Luis Salute February 2015
57 The venue with Sister Sledge at the San Luis Salute February 2015
23 Scott Kelly, from left, Amiko Kauderer, Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly at the San Luis Salute February 2015
49 Rodney and Licia Ellis, from left, and Carol Alvarado and NAME at the San Luis Salute February 2015
44 Gayle Lampson at the San Luis Salute February 2015
56 Beau Yarbrough and Erin Kay at the San Luis Salute February 2015
35 Rachel and Jeff Bagwell at the San Luis Salute February 2015
28 Michael Fertitta, from left, Vic and Joy Fertitta and Patrick Fertitta at the San Luis Salute February 2015
43 Virginia Seiler, from left, Morgan Burger and Georgia Russell at the San Luis Salute February 2015
34 Dave and Heidi Jacquin, from left, and Maria and Neil Bush at the San Luis Salute February 2015
25 Diane Lokey Farb and Mark Sullivan at the San Luis Salute February 2015
32 Paige and Tilman Fertitta at the San Luis Salute February 2015
8 Jim Ware, from left, Carter Ware, Dancie Ware and Lane Ware at the San Luis Salute February 2015
15 Lane Craft, from left, Chita Johnson, Captain Bob Shannon, Miya Shay and Gene Wu at the San Luis Salute February 2015
54 Laura and Dave Ward at the San Luis Salute February 2015
20 Tara and David Wuthrich at the San Luis Salute February 2015
10 Ellie and Michael Francisco at the San Luis Salute February 2015
12 Bill Ansell and Alex Brown at the San Luis Salute February 2015
26 Gary and Deanna Barton at the San Luis Salute February 2015
17 Ron Moore, left, and Jason Davis at the San Luis Salute February 2015

GALVESTON — When billionaire Tilman Fertitta and wife Paige throw a party, the riotous fun is all but guaranteed. Case in point, Friday night's San Luis Salute to Mardi Gras that saw 1,600 revelers pack the lavishly-decorated San Luis convention center.

Two rocking bands, free-flowing Veuve Clicquot, Vegas showgirls and Cirque du Soleil style acrobats infused the night with more energy than the island sees all year long.

"This is great to do something like this in Galveston," Fertitta said. "And thank God that I have the assets to be able do it. This makes it so glamorous. You could really be anywhere. This is as fun as if you were in Monaco."

The glamour began early in the evening for VIPs who were transported via police-escorted caravan to Pier 21 where the Landry's Inc. CEO hosted a champagne-laced cocktail party. The Fertittas' 164-foot yacht, The Boardwalk, was anchored alongside the clear party tent which was decorated in crystal chandeliers and lavish floral arrangements. 

"It's a great time. You've got all these beautiful duchesses and it's just great to be a part of it. "

"It's a great time. You've got all these beautiful duchesses and it's just great to be a part of it," Fertitta said, as the Knights of Momus duchesses and their dates partied on all levels of the yacht.

Back at the convention center, the Shanghai-themed bash was well under way with The A-Town A-List Band belting out dance tunes that kept the dance floor packed throughout the three-course lobster and filet mignon dinner. The top shelf wines and liquors — Jordan, Absolute, Veuve — on every table fueled the enthusiasm.

The party action paused only briefly for the Royal Promenade of the Knights of Momus entourage and VIP guests that included retired astronaut Mark Kelly and former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Maria and Neil Bush, Rachel and Jeff Bagwell and State Senators John Whitmire, Rodney Ellis and Larry Taylor.

Giffords was doing well, walking on her own, very much in the Mardi Gras spirit and even took a brief spin on the dance floor with her husband.

The evening grossed $600,000 for the National Biocontainment Training Center at the University of Texas Medical Branch and honored its doctors — Dr. Alan Barrett, Dr. Thomas Geisbert, Dr. Thomas Ksiazek, Dr. James Le Duc and Dr. Scott Weaver. Also honored was NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who departs next month for a year-long tenure aboard the space station.

Sister Sledge was the surprise entertainment, inspiring a dance fever so intense that every free space in the ballroom pulsated with juking and jiving merrymakers.

The Fertitta family was well represented with Tilman and Paige's children — Michael, Patrick and Blayne — joining the party as well as Tilman's parents, Joy and Vic Fertitta.

The partying throng included Dianne and Ed McDonough, Dancie and Jim Ware, Diane Lokey Farb, Mark Sullivan, Laura and Dave Ward, Brenda and Tom Koch, Vicki West, Tara and David Wuthrich, Carter Ware, Lane Ware, Frank Billingsley and Kevin Gilliard, Libbie and Bill Ansell, Susan and Dick Hansen, Ellie and Michael Francisco and Kevin and Francie Moody Dahlberg.

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