From artists to fashion designers, theatre, chefs, sports figures and spectacular museum events, Houston has seen some of the best this city has to offer with unbelievable talents, sites to see and places to go.
Here are some of the highlights:
Artist, John Ross Palmer: It was a project designed to be phenomenal when Houston artist, John Ross Palmer, set out to create the Escapist Artist Gallery & Studio with his Refuse to Struggle campaign. On January 4, 2014, Palmer hosted a groundbreaking ceremony complete with a champagne toast as result of the massive private and public fundraising endeavor. The Refuse to Struggle effort raised over $50,000 in private contributions and over $76,113 on Indiegogo in 46 days from over 300 donations from across the world.
Battle for the Elephants: The Houston Zoo and FreeseMediaGroup hosted Battle for the Elephants, an award winning documentary for National Geographic by director and producer, John Heminway, producer Katie Carpenter and Dr. Peter Li from University of Houston. WildLifeDirect.org, the beneficiary of the event, has boots on the ground in Africa and are actively getting laws changed to hopefully eradicate poaching.
Drew’s Pastry Place & Bakery Boss: It was a night filled with laughter, hugs, tears, cheers at Drew’s Pastry Place as chef/owner, Andrew “Drew” Rogers celebrated his national TV debut on The Learning Channel’s, Bakery Boss on January 20, 2014. In this episode, Cake Boss reality TV star, Buddy Valastro does a Bakery Boss intervention resulting in newly created confections in addition to the Cannoli Cupcake available at Drew’s Pastry Place.
Magna Carta exhibit: Joel Bartsch, Houston Museum of Natural Science president and Annise Parker, Houston’s Mayor, welcomed the original edition of the Magna Carta and the only known copy of the King’s Writ, a letter from King John to the Sheriff of Gloucester dated June 20, 1215 A.D. to Houston. At the end of the exhibit, the items were returned to Hereford Cathedral for display during a special celebration of Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary.
TUTS Season included Wizard of Oz: Theatregoers went somewhere over the rainbow and down the yellow brick road to TUTS’ presentation of the new stage adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. Audiences were treated to four new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber in addition to enhanced special effects, a stunning set and dazzling costumes made with Swarovski Elements.
Broadway Across America brings American Idiot: American Idiot, the explosive show touted by The New York Times as “wonderfully raucous” and “emotionally charged” premiered on March 21-23 for the Gexa Energy Broadway at the Hobby Center series. This Broadway hit was a 2010 Tony Award nominated Best Musical and 2010 Grammy Award winner for Best Musical Show Album.
Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair: The 11th Annual Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair wowed visitors on April 23-27, 2014 with an array of new attractions and added international flair. Attracting chefs from across the U.S. and Mexico, this five-day event celebrated all types of food with live cooking demos, interactive seminars, tastings, bartender’s challenge, pop-up book spot, beer garden and much more. Events took place at Sugar Land’s Town Square, Sugar Land Marriott Town Square and the grounds of the former Imperial Sugar Factory and historic Char House.
Walking Dead Escape: Walking Dead fans got a true dose of the apocalypse on April 26 at the immersive zombie obstacle course experience. The Walking Dead Escape was held at Reliant Stadium with a course allowing fans to participate as Walkers or Survivors as they climb, crawl, and slide their way through various zombie- infected evacuation zones. Those lucky enough to make it to the decontamination zone had their level of infection assessed and then participated in the event’s Fan Experience.
Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces exhibit: Celebrating their 130th anniversary in Rome, Bulgari launched the redesigned Galleria Houston store in conjunction with the Houston Museum of Natural Science exhibit, Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces. HMNS’s exhibit showcased 150 sizeable pieces of jewelry from Bulgari’s Heritage Collection including masterpieces from the historical archives of the company headquarters in Rome or on loan from private collections. This exclusive retrospective marks the first time the storied jeweler has showcased pieces representing every period since its Roman beginnings in 1884 making Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces a once in-a-lifetime event.
Houston Restaurant Weeks: This event paired some of the finest food Houston has to offer while raising money for the Houston Food Bank. Over 205 participants participated in the fundraising effort with their multi-course specially priced meals. A portion of proceeds went to the Houston Food Bank and raised $1,600,162.25 in 2014.
Shark! The Exhibit: The Houston Museum of Natural Science’s special exhibit, Shark! makes getting up close and personal with this sea creature a fun experience with their innovative, informative and interactive presentation. Visitors have the opportunity to see a live shark touch tank, track great white sharks swimming in the Gulf of Mexico in real time, and see what’s happening with sharks all over the world through amazing conservation efforts led by top marine biologists. The Shark! exhibit will be on display through March 22, 2015.
Houston Texans, Jonathan Joseph Inaugural Celebrity Bowling: Big-hearted Houston Texans players came together to support teammate, Johnathan Joseph and his effort to provide educational outreach assistance in Houston. The Inaugural Celebrity Bowling Pin Down hosted by Joseph raised funds for mentoring programs for underprivileged youth as well as provided books and technology for classrooms at local schools. The event raised an incredible $50,000 to go to Houston area schools where the latest technology and school supplies could make the greatest impact.
Fashion Houston Five: Fashion Houston, celebrating their fifth anniversary, brought the best of the best emerging, established and sought after designers for a star-studded runway experience. The lineup included Alexis Monsanto, Amir Taghi, Bibhu Mohapatra, Chloe Dao, David Peck, Fabrice Tardieu, Grungy Gentleman, Jio’Zei Reyes, Jonathan Blake, Little Black Dress Designer, M.C.L. by Matthew Campbell, Laurenza, Naeem Khan, Rami Salamoun, Rebecca Minkoff, Rene Ruiz, Rolando Santana, Rubin Singer, Sameera Faridi, Tibi, Valentina Kova and The Art Institute of Houston.
Andre Johnson Christmas Shopping event: It was a morning filled with anticipation as 11 children waited for their 80 second shopping spree at Toys“R”Us courtesy of Houston Texans, Andre Johnson and the Andre Johnson Foundation. The grand total for the event was $16,266. Johnson’s goal was to spread some Christmas cheer. “I didn’t think 80 seconds was long enough time, but they’re able to grab a lot. We keep doing it every year. I enjoy the kids getting what they want for Christmas and seeing the smiles on their faces,” Johnson said.
Samurai: The Way of the Warrior exhibit: History lovers will be in heaven with the highly anticipated special exhibition of Samurai: The Way of the Warrior at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The exhibit, which houses pieces that haven’t appeared in the U.S., will be at HMNS until September 7, 2015. The exhibition comes to HMNS from one of the most important private Samurai collections outside Japan, known for the number and quality of its pieces.