Once again, hordes of holiday shoppers flocked to NRG Center from Nov. 13–17 to roam the seemingly endless aisles of the Houston Ballet’s 39th annual Nutcracker Market. With hundreds of merchants from across the U.S., the market attracted millions of customers, exceeded millions of dollars in merchandise sales, and set aside even more millions to support the Ballet itself and its academy and various scholarship programs.
Market-goers, with signature Nutcracker Market mimosas in-hand, snaked their way through the stalls, which featured everything from the requisite nutcrackers, ornaments, and Christmas trees to less conventional (but just as festive) commodities like custom-made dolls, sustainable clothing, and bar accessories. New this year: personalized salt dough ornaments, Alpaca fleece, and—wait for it—authentic hair extensions.
Of course, such a shopping extravaganza wouldn’t be complete without a few extravagant extras sprinkled into the mix. This year’s event—chaired by longtime Houston Ballet supporter Sara Wright Parr—included a Wells Fargo Preview Party, a fashion show and luncheon from Saks Fifth Avenue, and yet another fashion show from Macy’s to top it all off.
Below, we recap this year’s Nutcracker Market by the numbers:
Years since the very first Nutcracker Market
Days of holiday shopping
Shoppers at this year's market
Percentage of merchandise sales that aid the Houston Ballet Foundation
Amount we're willing to spend on a decorative nutcracker
Revenue that directly benefits the Houston Ballet Foundation
Number of tree nuts actually cracked with a nutcracker (we're genuinely curious)
Square-feet of shopping space
Proceeds raised for the Houston Ballet Foundation since 1981
Signature Nutcracker Market mimosas at next year's 40th annual market, please!