Behind the Scenes of the Nutcracker Market, Nov. 11-14 at Reliant Center

Guest writer: Lorena Capellan, PR Intern

It’s that time of year again!  The Nutcracker Market is about to begin, and the sounds of cracking nuts are beginning to fill the air. This year’s Market includes more than 300 vendors, 15 of which are new vendors with never-before-seen holiday items.  It is the perfect place for holiday shopping, especially with the wider aisles allowing more room between vendors. 

So, what goes on behind the scenes for the preparation of the Nutcracker Market? It is a year’s worth of work for Houston Ballet to plan such an enormous event.  Once the Nutcracker Market ends, preparation for the next year begins.  Vendor applications begin pouring in around March 1st, and there is a high return in vendors so there are a limited number of booths leftover for new vendors (tough competition!).

Choosing the theme for the Nutcracker Market is also an extended process.  The Nutcracker Market Committee compiles a long list of ideas for themes, and the chairman for the year decides the final theme.  “Holiday Under the Big Top” is this year’s theme chosen by Chairwoman Shawn Stephens.  Themes are chosen early since vendors like to incorporate the theme into their booth decoration.

Nutcracker Market

Some of the work done right before opening day of the Nutcracker Market includes carpeting the entire hall and inspecting vendor’s booths.  The committee must ensure that vendors receive their allotted space which can also impact the line-up of booths. There are also numerous volunteers that keep the Market running smoothly for the 85,000+ shoppers in attendance.  It’s a lot of work to plan the greatest shopping event in Houston, but once the Nutcracker Market ends on November 14, the planning begins for the next year.

For more information about this year’s Nutcracker Market, “Holiday Under the Big Top”, visit


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