It is indeed beginning to look a lot like Christmas all over Houston. But for the next three days, Reliant Center is unquestionably holiday central thanks to the glittery, sugary, fanciful Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market.
Kicking off with the Preview Party Wednesday night, the market opened to a shopping-hungry throng of 3,800 that washed over the aisles of alluring goodies from more than 320 national and international merchants. Oh for one of the pieces of oxidized sterling silver jewelry with semi-precious stones from Bora of Brooklyn or one of the stunning wreaths from Elegant Clutter of Spring or the sparkling holiday ornaments from any number of merchants.
Don't miss the fab jewelry knock-offs at What's Hot, making its third year at the market. The beautifully tailored totes from Haul Couture are particularly attractive this year. And the annual favorite Paul Michael with all of those elaborate holiday decorations is a must on everyone's market itinerary.
Last year's market saw 95,000 pass through the turnstiles with shoppers spending a record $15.4 million.
And don't forget the yummy homemade marinara sauce from Donne di Domani and new this year the accompanying cookbook, La Cucina Delle Donne, with recipes from members and friends of the Italian-American women's group.
Think Santas, nativity scenes, handbags, candies, garlands, wreaths, wrought-iron decorative pieces, embroidered pillows, belts, handbags, a cache of jewelry choices and just about everything else you could imagine to burn up that discretionary income. This market has it all as well as scores of things you didn't even know you needed.
Overseeing Wednesday night's fete were Preview Party chairs Wendy Burks, Katie Harrison and Elizabeth Stein with market chair Sharon Erskine part of every moment of the intense fundraising. Proceeds from the market benefit the Houston Ballet Foundation and Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy and its scholarship funds. (Last year's market saw 95,000 pass through the turnstiles with shoppers spending a record $15.4 million.)
Karen Hartnett and Carol Altman chair Thursday's Saks Fifth Avenue fashion show and luncheon while Dawn Allen, Sunny Haik and Denise Poynter chair the sold-out holiday brunch on Friday that features fashions from Macy's.
The market is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $12 at the door.