HOUSTON, TX - Shoppers will kick off the holidays at the 37th annual Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market Rockin’ and Shoppin’ at NRG Center from November 8-12.

Over 280 merchants from across the country will participate and showcase their unique gift items, including home décor, gourmet food, apparel, toys, candles, jewelry, novelties, accessories and more.

Since 1981, the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market has grown from humble beginnings as a church bazaar, to now the second-largest charity event at NRG Park.

As is tradition each year, the Market takes on a new theme and this year’s Rockin’ and Shoppin’ was carefully selected by Market chairman, Myrna Fisch. The theme celebrates the shopping experience Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market provides and the fun cultural experience this event creates for shoppers and the Houston community.

“The Nutcracker Market is an annual fundraiser that allows shoppers to give back to the Houston Ballet Foundation, the Academy and its Scholarship Programs,” said Patsy Chapman, CEO of Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market. “From small beginnings, this has transformed over the years into a true holiday event where generations of new and experienced shoppers gather to create memories and traditions. You can really feel the excitement once you step into the Nutcracker Market, from shopping for unique items with your loved ones, to tasting different food products from around the world, to meeting new friends—the experience is one-of-a kind.”

Ten percent of all merchandise sales, plus the proceeds from admission and special event tickets, stays right here in Houston supporting the various programs of Houston Ballet and its Academy. With the funds raised in 2016, almost 56,000 Houston-area students were exposed to ballet through the Academy’s Education and Community Engagement programs, $786,947 was awarded to 200 students to continue their dream of studying dance at Houston Ballet Academy, and students from 299 Houston-area schools got their first opportunity to see ballet and hear from dancers through free programming, performances and classes at Houston Ballet’s prestigious Center for Dance.

Over 45 new merchants will make their debut at the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market. This year’s new items include decorative Santas from the new Santa Barre, custom-made wreaths for any occasion, interactive crawfish boil sets for kids, vibrant high-quality Native and American jewelry pieces, homemade baked dog treats, and baking and serving options for elegant and casual entertaining- just in time for the holidays!

Shoppers can also expect to see returning favorites, such as The Royal Standard featuring home décor, fashionable women’s apparel and accessories, scrumptious cherry products from Cherry Republic, fun novelty glass ornaments by the Ornament Barre, hot new trends in ladies fashion and shoes by Amy B’s, and handcrafted jewelry with semi-precious stones from Bora Jewelry.

General admission tickets are on sale now at all Houston-area Randalls locations and online through Ticketmaster. Special event tickets (Wells Fargo Preview Party, Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show and Luncheon, Macy’s Fashion Show and Luncheon), Early Bird and group sale general admission tickets can be purchased now by calling 713-535-3231.

Visit the Market’s website for more information on special events.