Houston Ballet soloist Harper Watters, Houston Ballet Ball chair Beth Zdeblick, Houston Ballet first soloist Oliver Haklowich kicking up their heels pre-pandemic at Wortham Theater Center. (Instagram photo)
The 2020 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year Lauren Paine, center, and her support group at the virtual gala watch party.
Jim & Whitney Crane with Daniella Rodriguez & Carlos Correa take their masks off for photos in November during the Correa Family Foundation dinner hosted by Fabergé at the home of Isabel and Ignacio Torras. (Photo by Quy Tran)
Morgan Daugherty, Bethany Buchanan performing at the Junior League of Houston gala in early February.(Photo by Emile C. Browne)
Amanda Boffone, Tootsies creative director Fady Armanious, Dr. Yvonne Cormier, Stephanie Fleck in September during a Tootsies fall fashion preview.(Photo by Jacob Power)
DASH co-founders Lisa Erwin, Michelle Maresh, Vanessa Sendukas, Angela Poujol in July wearing their signature masks necessary in the time of COVID-19. (Photo by Gray Moore Photography)
Courtnay Tartt Elias toasts PaperCity's Jim Kastleman and Holly Moore during the PaperCity 25th anniversary celebration held in early February at Neiman Marcus. (Photo by Johnny Than)
Sheridan Williams awaits the start of her drive-by birthday celebration, a COVID-19 pivot, in April at her home in River Oaks.
Fielding and Meredith Cocke and Alexander Cocke join JDRF Houston's virtual fundraiser in poolside black-tie attire in May. (Photo by Barbara Perlick)
Staton Welch and Phoebe Tudor dancing at the Houston Ballet Ball in February with no worries about the pandemic to come. (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Houston Fire Department calendar men set aside their masks in November to strut their stuff at the Red Hot Gala benefitting the Houston Fire Fighters Association at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. (Photo by Michelle Watson CatchlightGroup.com)
Mayor Sylvester Turner, advocating social distancing and wearing masks, with Lainie Gordon & David Mincberg at the Alley Theatre Deck the Trees event in early December. (Photo by Priscilla Dickson)
Elle Guerrini, Selina Stanford, Jen McDonald, Devan Gernert, Courtney Paddock, Karen Johnson, Phoebe Rourke skipped the masks for photos at the friendsgiving garden party in November. (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
Aanchal Bhatia and Shelby Hodge at the PaperCity/Cafe Annie Sunday brunch party in October. (Photo by Johnny Than)
Karen Bradshaw Rains & Jack Morris Rains celebrate his birthday in early December at La Griglia after their wedding at The Church of St. John the Divine. (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Nutcracker Market Ornament Barre Chairs Tracey Williford and Megan Kessler pose for a photo at the Houston Methodist virtual photo booth in November.
Tootsies creative director Fady Armanious takes his creative talents to Houston's Memorial Park for a Thanksgiving Day picnic with a handful of socially-distanced friends.
Winter Ball honorees Kelley Lubanko, Cheryl Byington, Hannah McNair and Myrtle Jones in the spotlight in January. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Maggie Barclay, Taylor Larson and Erika Taugher at Hope Farm's Fashion in the Fields outing in October benefiting Recipe for Success. (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
2020 Women of Substance honoree Donae Chramosta, the November luncheon canceled due to COVID-19. (Photo by Gittings)
A golden moment at Houston Ballet's 50th anniversary ball at Wortham Theater Center in February before the curtain fell on the performing arts groups. (Photo by Alida Bonifaz)
Emcees Samica Knight & Gina Gaston at the Children's Museum Houston luncheon on March 5. (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Lindley Arnoldy, Mary Patton at a March 12 luncheon at River Oaks Country Club. (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Shelby Hodge and Shafik Rifaat toss dozens of fresh gardenias into the air as a fragrant part of Sheridan Williams' drive-by birthday celebration in April.
Houston Ballet Ball chair Beth Zdeblick makes a confetti angel on the floor of Wortham Theater Center after the ball in mid-February. And that's a wrap. (Instagram photo)
The sheer joy that lighted the face of Ballet Ball chair Beth Zdeblick as she danced with Harper Watters and Oliver Haklowich at the Wortham Theater Center in late February marked one of the final truly celebratory evenings of 2020. Within weeks, society fundraising was called to a halt due to COVID-19.
Galas were canceled. Charity luncheons rescheduled. Ball gowns remained in the closet. And our beloved event planners, caterers, florists and valet parkers were put on ice.
So it wasn’t so easy searching our files this December to find the playful party pix that we traditionally revisit at the end of the year. There was only so much “before” and loads of “after.” Masks and no masks. Drive-by events. Virtual events. Some big. Some small.
Of course, we missed the colorful tableau of the River Oaks tennis tournament luncheon, the fashion glory of Hermann Park Conservancy’s Hats in the Park, the Opera Ball, the Symphony Ball, the Best Dressed Luncheon, the Nutcracker Market and so much more.
In any event, it was a year to remember good and bad. Colorful and dark. Herewith, we look back at it all through PaperCity‘s society photo files. These are the best party photos of 2020 for Houston.