Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s Don’t-Miss Fall Parties — 13 Events That Everyone Will be Talking About

From Sports Celeb Bashes to Beyond Glamorous Nights

BY // 09.03.19

Hello, party season! As we roll past Labor Day, the social forces start churning with a slow burn that ratchets up in a matter of weeks into a blaze of black-tie evenings, fancy luncheons and rocking art parties.

The massive September print issue of PaperCity magazine inventories more than 100 events between now and mid-December. And those are just the ones that made the cut and made our deadline. PaperCity’s full online calendar includes anything and everything cultured readers might be interested in attending. Check it out here.

With so many parties and so little time, we have curated the offerings into a sampling of those you don’t want to miss. There is something for everyone from long-hair cultural evenings to sports celeb-fueled bashes to must-attends for young professionals aspiring for bold faced status. These are Houston’s don’t-miss fall parties.

For Sports Fans

Whether your passions run to football, baseball, basketball, or soccer, fall 2019 holds several events that shine the light on H-Town’s professional athletes. First up on the calendar is Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston‘s “The Great Futures Dinner” honoring the Houston Rockets as the tall guys take over the ballroom at the Post Oak Hotel.  The VIPs start at the top of the house with Rockets CEO Tad Brown and wife, Janice, headlining as honorary chairs. Already with tables secured are Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni, GM Daryl Morey and Clyde Drexler, basketball Hall of Famer and Rockets legend. Current players will also be in the house and maybe even Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, who also happens to own the hotel. Reservations can be made with Sarah Burns, sburns@bgcgh.org.

A fan fave is Una Notte in Italia which features sports stars and leading businessmen in a highly-animated parade of fashion from Festari for Men. Sneha Merchant and Rachel Bagwell chair the event that will see the Astros’ MLB Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell on the catwalk along with pitcher Lance McCullers. Count on seeing his gorgeous wife, Kara McCullers, in the audience with several other Astros leading lights. A sampling of those on the fashion roster benefitting the Houston Area Women’s Center — Sam Windsor, captain of Houston’s new rugby team, the Sabercats, and Houston Texans Justin Reid, Tashaun Gipson and Cullen Gillaspia. While honorary chair Debbie Festari is revealing most of the athletes attending, she is keeping a few surprises up her designer sleeves. Save the date, November 15 and reserve your seats here.

Houston party pictures
A confetti blitz at Una Notte in Italia

On November 12, everyone’s favorite pitch man, H-E-B’s Scott McClelland, sits down with basketball great Shaquille O’Neal for a one-on-one. A celebrity athlete interview is central to TEACH‘s annual fundraiser. The “Slam Dunk for Teach” evening takes place at River Oaks Country Club. And with “Shaq” on stage, it promises to be as spirited as the 2018 fundraiser in which McClelland went head-to-head with Vince Wilfork, two-time Super Bowl champ.

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For Fashionistas & Best Dressed Wanabees

All hail Tenenbaum Jewelers, once again at the forefront of fashionable happenings. On November 19, owner Tony Bradfield, in cahoots with International Best Dressed honoree Lynn Wyatt, hosts a book signing for a sister in that coveted sorority of the phenomenally well clad, Amy Fine Collins. The special contributor to Vanity Fair will be penning bon mots on  copies of her latest book The International Best Dressed List: The Official Story. As Sweden-based PaperCut notes, the book is “the ultimate sourcebook for fashion mavens, Instagram followers, and celebrity worshippers.”

Calling All Animal Advocates

The Houston PetSet “Fierce and Fabulous Soirée” takes over the ballroom at the swank Post Oak Hotel for a night of dining, dancing and fundraising for the benefit of our four-legged friends. Proceeds are distributed to various animal rescue agencies in the Houston area. Identical twins Tena Lundquist Faust and Tama Lundquist chair the fundraiser for which Kara and Lance McCullers Jr. serve as honorary chairs.

The Houston Zoo “Wildlife Conservation Gala: Pantanal” takes dinner guests on a journey to the South American wetland jewel with talks by two leading conservationists based in Brazil,  Drs. Patricia Medici and Arnaud Desbiez. The curtain goes on this up October 10 at the zoo.

Citizens for Animal Protection goes all in for the animals on November 16 with “A Royal Affair: Reigning Cats and Dogs” at the annual Celebrity Paws Gala at the Royal Sonesta. Mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee and his steady squeeze Frances Moody chair the gala with Julie and Brook Brookshire filling the roles of honorary chairs. Lots of animals join this party night.

Oh So Chic

That would be the evening at the Tilman Fertitta family home in River Oaks when Legacy Community Health Services salutes Tootsies creative director Fady Armanious. Mark September 19 for the evening that benefits the H-E-B Legacy Little Readers Fund. Could there be a more chic group of chairs — Paige Fertitta, Sheridan Williams, Hallie Vanderhider, Shannon Hall and Marcus Sloan, Richard Flowers and Angel Rios, Melissa Mithoff, and Elizabeth Petersen?

Fady Armanious; Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Fady Armanious will be honored at the Legacy Community Health Services cocktail party. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Calling All Young Professionals

So many events with millennials in mind this season, so we’re naming just a few starting with Memorial Park Conservancy‘s “Urban Wild Bridge Bash.”  Fun lovers with a passion for Memorial Park party under the stars as the night plays out on the iconic Living Bridge that crosses Memorial Drive. Food, drink, music and frivolity characterize this night.

The 14th annual “Feast with the Beasts” at Houston Zoo takes over zoo grounds with more than 40 restaurants presenting food stations and with servings of beer and wine and music by The Suffers. Join close to 3,000 revelers for an energy-infused al fresco night supporting zoo programs.

The Children’s Museum of Houston is supported by many but on the night of the annual gala, this year themed “A Wicked Affair,” the majority of guests are young parents whose children regularly play through the museum’s educational exhibits. The Corinthian becomes costume-central as guests often dress in themed attire or black-tie. Witches galore?

Foodie Fun

Four of the city’s favorite chefs — Charles Clark (Ibiza and Clark Cooper Concepts), Mark Cox (chef and restaurant consultant), Ryan Hildebrand (FM Kitchen & Bar), and Charles Carroll (River Oaks Country Club) — will be cooking up a gourmet storm for the T.J. Martel Foundation’s annual “Best Cellars Dinner.” Beyond the fancy fare, guests will be treated to fine wines from the cellars of local collectors. As is tradition, a country singer from Nashville (home of the foundation) will perform. This year, Ryan Kinder will be singing his songs at River Oaks Country Club.

The American Cancer Society reprises its highly popular, chef-centric fundraiser “Corks and Forks” on October 3 at The Ballroom at Bayou Place. More than two dozen chefs, including Ouzou Bay, Le Colonial, Steak 48, Uchi, Amalfi, Cavour, Toulouse, Ninfa’s on Navigation, will be putting their best food forward in a tasting competition that subjects the chefs to judging by both professionals and guests attending. Bonus: this scribe (Shelby Hodge) and Shafik Rifaat are honorees.

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