What: The San Luis Salute México Magnifico
Where: The Galveston Island Convention Center at The San Luis Resort
The scoop: The 23rd annual San Luis Salute, hosted by the Tilman Fertitta family, earned riotous applause as revelers from near and far gathered for this year’s Mardi Gras! Galveston celebration. The event sold out within hours (with more than 1,900 tickets sold) and honored Dr. Joel Patterson, chief and program director of the neurosurgery division in the Department of Surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston.
To kick off the invitation-only celebration, VIPs sipped Veuve Clicquot bubbly and margaritas served in mini Patron bottles beneath a crystal tent set against a stunning background of Fertitta’s mega-yacht, the Boardwalk.
At the main event, Richard Flowers of the Events Co. brought the vibrancy of "México Magnifico" to life inside The Galveston Island Convention Center at The San Luis Resort’s stately foyer. Guests arrived dressed to the nines, instantly posing against the fluorescent paper flower walls. During the cocktail hour, a DJ on a truss entertained above the crowd, while an aerial bartender artfully poured champagne and Elan dancers passed cocktails.
The Big Beyond entertained the lively group behind a jaw-dropping colorful visual spectacular of Elan and skeleton dancers, stilt walkers, and enormous Mexican puppets. Blue and white Talavera vases filled with colorful flowers as centerpieces, Clase Azul Reposado tequila, Mexican blue-rimmed shot glasses and cocktail shakers were situated on the guests’ glitzy tables.
Following the impressive reveal was a grand procession of notable guests, including NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and wife Amiko Kelly; U.S. Rep. Randy Weber and wife, Brenda; state Rep. Shawn Thierry; state Sen. John Whitmire, dean of the Texas Senate; state Sen. Larry Taylor and wife, Kerri; state Sen. Carol Alvarado; UTMB President Dr. David Callender and wife, Tonya; University of Houston chancellor and President Renu Khator and husband, Suresh Khator, UH football head coach Dana Holgorsen, and athletic director Chris Pezman and wife, Marisol; CNBC’s Brian Sullivan and wife, Julie; Doe and Henry Florsheim; Nandita and Michael Berry; Dave Jacquin and son, Alec; Jefferies chairman and CEO Richard Handler; Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and wife, Tanya; Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset and wife, Brenda; event honoree Dr. Joel Patterson and wife, Laura; the Fertitta family; and the entire royal court from the Knights of Momus, highlighted by King Frivolous CIV Vic Fertitta and Momus Queen Blayne Fertitta.
The Duchess Royal Court includes Lexie Ammons, Gracie Bassett, Nicole Blakley, Kristen Blakley, Kathryn Criaco, Katie Rose Cullen, Bailey Dodson, Kaki Duenner, Melissa Estrada, Blayne Fertitta, Chloe Flores, Hannah Herrold, Valerie Herrscher, Joanie Kelso, Sabrina Kesler, Hannah Kirby, Heather Kirby, Maria Koutrouvelis, Marissa Matthews, Macey McCann, Danielle Perugini, Devin Peterson, Cara Quigley, Sara Beth Shelton, Emlynn Smith, Amber Tribble, Morgan Vicknair, and Maddi Walser.
The highlight of the night, world-renowned musical artist Usher, rallied the crowd as he took the stage for a 75-minute show to perform "Burn," "Yeah!," "Confessions Part II," "DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love," and many more, creating an instantly packed dance floor. Michael, Patrick, Blake, and mom Paige Fertitta (in a stunning Dolce & Gabbana gown) were spotted on the black-and-white checkered dance floor near the head tables alongside Momus Queen Blayne signing along to the best-selling, radio-dominating pop and urban artist’s show.
The Mardi-party continued into the weekend following the Momus Grand Night Parade as the Fertitta children teamed up to host the parade afterparty dubbed “Despues de la Fiesta” held at the San Luis Resort. More than 500 invite-only partygoers entered the grand ballroom to a nitrogen bar featuring Souza Hornitos tequila margaritas and spicy pineapple margaritas set beneath a dramatic, balloon-covered ceiling, while DJ Alesso entertained with a private show that lasted well into the morning, capping out the Mardi Gras party of all parties.
Who: The fashionable crowd included King Frivolous CIV Vic Fertitta and wife, Joy; astronaut Mark Kelly; Momus President Hal Rochkind and wife, Jessica; Houston Rockets’ CEO Tad Brown and players P.J. Tucker and Gary Clark; Frank Billingsley and Kevin Gilliard; Dancie and Jim Ware, with sons Carter and Lane; Lori and Allan Matthews; Katie, Harry, Hugh Roy, and Rose Cullen; Deanna and Gary Barton; Joanie McLeod Kirksey; Kelly and Anthony Duenner; Dianne and Fred Burns; Renee and Scott Rice; Joan and Doug McLeod; Maggie and John Kelso; Debra and Tom Perich; Todd Fertitta; Jay Fertitta; Kelli Fertitta Woods and husband, Josh; Tom Koch; Frances Moody and Tony Buzbee; Francie Moody Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg; Margie and Scott Kusnerik; Jocelyn and Billy Sullivan; Claudia and William Estrada; Libbie and Bill Ansell; and Chita and Lane Craft.