all hat, all cattle
Grammy-nominated country stars Midland and Pat Green saddle up for Houston's cowboy cool Cattle Baron's Ball
Outside our beloved Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, perhaps no other big, annual event sums up H-Town's contemporary cowboy culture like the annual Cattle Baron’s Ball.
A Houston original and fundraiser for American Cancer Society (ACS), the ball epitomizes our city's go-big-or-go-home flair. (Even the event's name is Texas-sized.) This is, after all, the event that totally took over the entire grounds of Minute Maid Park with superstar country headliners Lady A — to a tune of $2.5 million raised for ACS.
Founded in 1989, the venerable bash is always one to cowboy up. To date, the soiree has raised more than $41 million to support ACS’ mission of lifesaving cancer research.
Now in its 36th year, this year's Cattle Baron’s Ball will be held at Post 713 Music Hall, on Saturday, September 9. Always bringing A-listers to the party, the event promises Grammy-nominated, country superstar trio (and handsome gents) Midland with Texas fave Pat Green as the show opener.
This year's event theme is — naturally — “Rhinestone Rodeo,” which celebrates the signature “Nudie Suit” glitz and glamour look, per event producers. Fans can get a jump start on tickets, tables (and start planning that Rhinestone Rodeo outfit), and more by visiting the official site.
A history-making biz whiz and media maven saddle up
Prominent Houstonians and familiar social scene faces Jacquie Baly and Lara Bell will serve as this year's chairs. For Baly, the appointment as ball chair is historic. The founder of BalyProjects, a local consulting firm specializing in planning and public affairs who serves as advisor to Governor Greg Abbott, consults in local politics and business development, and teaches at UH, is the first woman of color to chair the event.
“I am incredibly thrilled and humbled to serve as the first Black chair of Cattle Baron,” Baly tells CultureMap. “Cattle Baron Houston and Cattle Baron Dallas are the two most significant fundraisers for the American Cancer Society in the country. I am passionate about everything we do because my father is a cancer survivor.”
For Baly, the event is personal, and she wants to pass the grace she received to others. “Not everyone is blessed enough to have their loved ones with us after a cancer diagnosis,” she adds. “That’s why we must do everything we can to eradicate this disease. Cattle Baron’s Ball and (American Cancer Society) ACS’s other activities help us invest in our local community through Houston-based cancer research, patient lodging, prevention, and early detection initiatives. We have a strong committee who are all dedicated to our cause. Houston’s 2023 Cattle Baron Ball will be exciting and impactful.”
In a little trivia, Baly and her husband were also the subject of CultureMap's most-read story in 2021.
Bell, meanwhile,is a unmistakable (and always warmly smiling) face in Houston media and social circles. The founder of Swoon Media and its magazines and media outlets is also a veteran TV personality who hosted Wild About Houston for some 14 years. A nonstop force on the charity event circuit, Bell chairs and assists countless big-name nonprofit events across Houston, holding prominent roles in organizations like the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Houston Symphony, Junior League of Houston, Kids Meals, and more. For her work, she's been named as a Chron’s and Colitis/ABC Channel 13 Winter Ball “Women of Distinction” in 2020, and as a Houston Social Book “Houston Treasure” in 2021.
As with Baly, this event is personal for Bell, who is paying tribute to someone very dear. “I lost my mom and best friend in 2016 to cancer,” she tells CultureMap, “and watching her fight the good fight for two years was hard. Cancer touches everyone. I am chairing the Cattle Baron Ball partly in her honor.”
Presented by Texas Oncology, the event honors Elsie Eckert, Judi McGee, Sidney Faust, and Scott Basinger (Community honoree); Dr. Susan Blaney (Medical honoree); and American Cancer Society CEO's Against Cancer - Greater Houston Chapter (Corporate honoree).
Midland and Pat at the party
The last time charming crooners Midland played a private party in Houston was at the 90th annual World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest in the most-over-the-top-ever Cotton Holdings private tent. (Urban cowboy Pete Bell is Cotton's spare-no-expense CEO and Lara Bell's brother.) The exquisitely dressed, Grammy-nominated band has earned a legion of fans with red-hot singles like, “Burn Out,” “Make A Little,” and “Drinkin’ Problem, their double Platinum-certified debut.
As for Green, fans all over Texas know the singer-songwriter for his familiar tunes “Carry On” and “Three Days,”
Singer-song writer, Pat Green, is credited as being one of Texas country’s modern-era founding fathers with watershed tracks like “Carry On,” “Three Days.” By far his most recognizable tune, the Billboard chart topper hit “Wave On Wave,” is a singalong favorite in venues everywhere.
Pre-game at The Rustic
Those who want to check out Cattle Baron Ball's vibe can head to the 2023 Cattle Baron’s Ball Kickoff Party. The fun kicks off at 7 pm on May 2 at The Rustic (1836 Polk St.). The event is open to committee members and even those who simply want to learn more about the Cattle Baron's Ball. Admission to the event includes dinner, drinks, live entertainment, an exclusive auction, sneak peeks, and more. Individual tickets are $100 and can be found here.