Nutcracker Frenzy

4,000 shoppers get an early start at Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market, with loads of shopping ahead

4,000 shoppers get an early start at Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market

News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Jim Nelson, Philamena Baird, Stanton Welch
Houston Ballet managing director Jim Nelson, Cory Ogdahl, market chair Philamena Baird and ballet artistic director Stanton Welch. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, rachel Regan, Ileana Trevino, Leisa Holland-Nelson
Rachel Regan, Cory Ogdahl, Ileana Trevino, Leisa Holland-Nelson. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Emily Hendrix, Jennifer Hayes, Cynthia Gratzer, Marcy Voller
Emily Hendrix, Jennifer Hayes, Cynthia Gratzer, Marcy Voller. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Debbie Aspromonte Simon, Annette Strake, Roz Pactor
Donna di Domani volunteers Debbie Aspromonte Simon, Annette Strake, Roz Pactor. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Don Gullquist, Dr. Fred Aguilar, Sam Malone
Don Gullquist, Dr. Fred Aguilar, Sam Malone. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Karen Haysley, Corinne Vandermeer
Karen Haysley, Corinne Vandermeer. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Jackie Eubank, Patsy Chapman, Vanessa Sendukas, Cathy Cagle
Jackie Eubank, Patsy Chapman, Vanessa Sendukas, Cathy Cagle. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015,  Cameron Thorp, Travis Chambers, Darry Hearon
Cameron Thorp, Travis Chambers, Darry Hearon. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Grace Kim, Kelly Krohn, Susan Sarofim, Sandy Barrett
Grace Kim, Kelly Krohn, Susan Sarofim, Sandy Barrett. © Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015,  Sherry Sheffield, Stephanie Stewart, Tanya White
 Sherry Sheffield, Stephanie Stewart, Tanya White. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015,  Sherry Sheffield, Stephanie Stewart, Tanya White
Lynsey Dorsett, Tiffany Bullard, Lisa Claborn. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Bruce Blome, Allison Brunasso, Scott Brunasso
Bruce Blome, Allison Brunasso, Scott Brunasso. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Cole Mark, Lauren Jacobs
Cole Mark, Lauren Jacobs. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Ashley Wolff, Sarah Matocha
Ashley Wolff, Sarah Matocha. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Tiffany Halik, Dylan Milam, Lara Bell
Tiffany Halik, Dylan Milam, Lara Bell. © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Jim Nelson, Philamena Baird, Stanton Welch
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, rachel Regan, Ileana Trevino, Leisa Holland-Nelson
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Emily Hendrix, Jennifer Hayes, Cynthia Gratzer, Marcy Voller
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Debbie Aspromonte Simon, Annette Strake, Roz Pactor
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Don Gullquist, Dr. Fred Aguilar, Sam Malone
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Karen Haysley, Corinne Vandermeer
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Jackie Eubank, Patsy Chapman, Vanessa Sendukas, Cathy Cagle
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015,  Cameron Thorp, Travis Chambers, Darry Hearon
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Grace Kim, Kelly Krohn, Susan Sarofim, Sandy Barrett
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015,  Sherry Sheffield, Stephanie Stewart, Tanya White
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015,  Sherry Sheffield, Stephanie Stewart, Tanya White
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Bruce Blome, Allison Brunasso, Scott Brunasso
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Cole Mark, Lauren Jacobs
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Ashley Wolff, Sarah Matocha
News, Shelby, Nutcracker Market, Nov. 2015, Tiffany Halik, Dylan Milam, Lara Bell

Four thousand shoppers can't be wrong. That's how many poured through the turnstiles at NRG Center Wednesday night for the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market, the multi-million dollar cash cow that has provided more than $43 million for the ballet academy since its founding.

Nutcracker Market chair Philamena Baird and her committee selected "Putting on the Ritz" as this year's theme, meaning that arrivals were swept up in a glitzy holiday tableau complete with crystal chandeliers, sophisticated black and white draping and black sequined tablecloths.

Among the more than 300 curated merchants who filled the vast hall were newcomers Mirta Tummino Studio proffering handcrafted one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, CaseOrama with fab custom-made phone cases, and the Charleston Shoe Co.

Of course, many shoppers made a bee line for the familiar favorites, including Donna di Domani with its homemade marinara sauce, Brookwood Community and the ever-popular Paul Michael Co., all three of which have been on board for at least two decades.

The preview party, for which the ballet crowd turns out in cocktail attire while the early shoppers are dressed for loading their totes, was chaired by Leisa Holland-Nelson, Rachel Regan and Ileana Trevino.

The shopping fun continues through Sunday, highlighted by today's Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show and Luncheon and, on Friday, Macy's Fashion Show and Brunch.

Wednesday night's ballet crowd included Patsy Chapman, Jay Jones and Terry Wayne Jones, Grace Kim, Susan Sarofim, Kelly Krohn, Sandy Barrett, Dr. Fred Aguillar, Lara Bell, Tiffany Hallik, Roz Pactor, Annette Strake, Sam Malone and Allison and Scott Brunasso.