Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s Nutcracker Market is Still Happening This Spring — Just Not in the Way You’re Used To

Ballet's Storied Shopping Bonanza Moves Online

BY // 03.25.20
photography Fulton Davenport, PWL Studio

Raise your hand if you’re not shopping online during this time of self-isolation. Unless you’re in a coronavirus decimated industry, we bet those ads constantly littering your inboxes are getting your attention while you’re social distancing. With the knowledge that retail therapy could be as good as any during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is some happy news for shoppers.

The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market Spring, which was originally set to launch April 17 at NRG, will still happen. But not in the way you might imagine.

As recently as March 10, the ballet was touting  dozens of new merchants that would be joining the spring market. COVID-19 interfered, and one week later, on March 17, Houston Ballet announced the market’s cancellation. But on Wednesday, the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market Spring revealed it was back on. Albeit virtually.

The market will go on via Facebook from March 25 through April 30. Shoppers can join the Facebook group at this link.

“It was so difficult but ultimately necessary to have to cancel our spring show this year,” Patsy Chapman, CEO of the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market, said in a statement. “However, we are trying to make the best of a complicated situation by offering an alternative space for our merchants to showcase their items and for our shoppers to enjoy a special online shopping event from home.

“We hope the virtual market brings some happiness to our shoppers and helps supplement the sales of our wonderful merchants who work so hard as small business owners.”

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One hundred percent of the sales will remain in the hands of the merchants, as Houston Ballet aims to support the small-business owners who have contributed to the market’s success over the years.

The inaugural Nutcracker Market Spring, held April 2019, saw $3.2 million worth of warm-weather-oriented goods fly out the door of NRG Center, with 11 percent of that benefiting the Houston Ballet Foundation.

A list of merchants participating in the 2020 virtual marketplace can be found here.

Plans are already underway for the traditional Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market, to be held November 12 through 15 at NRG Center.

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