The timing could not have been more perfect for the seventh annual "Night in Havana" fundraiser celebrating all things Cuban. Little more than a week before Saturday's bash at Hudson Lounge, the American flag was hoisted above the newly reopened U.S. embassy in Cuba.
Fedoras and Panama hats were de rigueur among both men and women in the crowd of several hundred young professionals. As were the stogies, Gran Habanos for $10 proffered by cigar/cigarette girl Annie Patten. Burlesque girls performing inside the lounge echoed the rowdy spirits of Havana's heyday while on the patio a five-piece steel band gave off an island vibe. Add a couple of Castro characters to the spicy scene.
Holding court over the who's who of young professional Houston was "Night in Havana" major domo John Andell. "It's a Havana party, you're supposed to be smoking," he advised.
And smoking it was from the blue Habano vapors to the smokin' hot collection of Pretty Young Things draping themselves across the chaise lounges on the patio.
Special guests were Jennifer Giambi, Candlelighters development director, and Candlelighter volunteers Sarah Scott and Sabina Stolba. That non-profit was beneficiary of the night's revelry.
Stepping out in their best whites for the night were guests including Stacy Andell, Chris Brown, Matt Harris, Leigh McBurnett, Preston Luster, Corbett Parker, James Sivco, Curtis Willeford, Wesley Bryan, Katie Hoyt, Christen Sawyer, Hannah and Jed English, Tara Conley and Jordan and Dan Brunello.