Practically before the ink was dry on the invitations, the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market Preview Party and Saks Fifth Avenue luncheon were sellouts, making the task of market chairs Rachel Regan and Patti Murphy appear less than the Herculean effort that is actually required to head the four-day shopping extravaganza.

 

The preview party Wednesday night saw 5,000 shoppers, each buying premium tickets, roll through the turnstiles while Thursday’s luncheon and Carmen Marc Valvo fashion show topped out at 1,340. Applause, applause for Preview Party chairs Katrina Armin, Susan Vick, Gabriela Dror and, in absentia, Patti Dale Tye and for luncheon chairs Anne Carl, Kimberly DeLape, Kim Moody and Alicia Smith.

 

All signs are that this Nutcracker Market is going to continue the trend of ever-increasing millions of dollars in sales.

Designer Valvo was in from New York for the Saks Fifth Avenue show, which featured winter frocks and party clothes and a load of furs.

 

While thousands poured in on the first floor of Reliant Center for the market, the lunching ladies rode the escalators to the second floor where The Event’s Co.’s Kirksey Gregg had done a deliciously playful job with the decor that followed the Tinseltown theme of the market.

 

All signs are that this Nutcracker Market is going to continue the trend of ever-increasing millions of dollars in sales. At 4 p.m. on Thursday, market sales were 2.9 percent above that of last year at the same time and that did not include the whopping sales always experienced at the Paul Michael Co. booth, which features masses of holiday decorations.

 

The partying ladies helping raise funds for Houston Ballet included luncheon emcee Deborah Duncan, Victoria Osteen, Jackie Garner, Lucinda Loya, Vicki Rizzo, Amy Lee, Ann Short, Mary D’Andrea, Gina Bhatia, Lisa Holland Nelson, Karen Henry, Cathy Cagle, Lori Shellist, Judy Nyquist and Donae Chramosta.

 

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