» Happenings » Happenings in CY-FAIR
December 2015

Happenings in CY-FAIR
December 2015

| December 1, 2015

Winter Celebrations: Exploring Lunar New Year. (Photo - Pin Lim/Forest Photography)

Winter Celebrations: Exploring Lunar New Year. (Photo – Pin Lim/Forest Photography)


Houston Arts Alliance’s Folklife + Tradi­tional Arts program presents Winter Cele­brations, a trio of installations, along with live performances and interactive events centered on the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Lunar New Year and the African-American trail riders who help kick off the annual Livestock Show and Rodeo.

These distinctive traditions share more than a season — they are all public, participatory, festive events involving parade-like processional activities, music and dance, and fancy garb or costume.

This season, all events associated with Winter Celebrations will take place at Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston , 3400 Main Street, Houston’s newest, innovative art space. All events are free and open to the public. They include:

Dec. 2-8 Winter Celebrations: Observing the Feast Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe

Catholics the world over venerate the Virgin of Guadalupe, but She is especially revered by Mexicans. Her feast day on December 12 is celebrated in Houston in private homes, in neighborhood parishes and in a huge downtown procession that attracts scores of religious dance groups that come to honor Her. Programs and installation will explore the artful practices of devotion associated with this holiday. Open­ing reception is Dec. 3, 6–8 p.m. with food, drink, music and devotional dance.

January 13-19 Winter Celebra­tions: Exploring Lunar New Year

The Chinese and Vietnamese Lunar New Year is based on a lunar cycle that falls between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20 on the Gregorian calendar. Its celebration incites spectacular preparations, performances and displays at temples, businesses and personal residences throughout the city. A weeklong evocation of the spirit of this complex cultural event will be presented. Open­ing reception is Jan. 14, 6-8 p.m. with food, drink, lion dancing and more.

Monday, Jan. 18, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. – Winter Celebrations Family Day

A special celebration with mariachi music, devotional dance, zydeco, lion dancing, calligraphy and paper cutting demonstrations and more.


Winter Celebrations: Honoring Houston’s African-American Trail Riders. (Photo - Debra Ham)

Winter Celebrations: Honoring Houston’s African-American Trail Riders. (Photo – Debra Ham)

Feb. 10-16 – Winter Celebrations: Honoring Houston’s African-American Trail Riders

Every year, as winter draws to a close, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo opens with more than a dozen trail ride associations traversing the region and meeting in downtown for the opening parade. This presentation will unpack the city’s rural heritage, its role in the black cowboy story and the art of the ride. Opening reception is Feb. 11, 6-8 p.m. with food, drink and a zydeco dance.

Bank of America is the lead presenting sponsor for the entire Winter Celebrations series and for the free Family Day on Jan. 18. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Houston Endowment.

Visit houstonartsalliance.com/folklife/ for more information.


(Front row, l-r): Sarah Cermak, Elizabeth Cermak, Courtney Reid, Evelyn Nava and Victoria Vasisko; (middle row) Katie McElroy, Isabella Wallace, Clarissa Wallace, Ariana Chaidez, Journey Rasmussen and Mary Damian; (back row): Grace Schlafer, Andreina Hurtado, Hannah Wilhelmsen, Henry Ginsburg, Bobby Ginsburg, Finn Adams and Paige Hacker.

(Front row, l-r): Sarah Cermak, Elizabeth Cermak, Courtney Reid, Evelyn Nava and Victoria Vasisko; (middle row) Katie McElroy, Isabella Wallace, Clarissa Wallace, Ariana Chaidez, Journey Rasmussen and Mary Damian; (back row): Grace Schlafer, Andreina Hurtado, Hannah Wilhelmsen, Henry Ginsburg, Bobby Ginsburg, Finn Adams and Paige Hacker.


Twenty-three CFISD students have been cast in the Houston Repertoire Ballet’s 14th annual performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Dec. 4-6, featuring HRB alumni Elizabeth Keller (principal, Ballet Idaho) as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Jared Matthews (principal, Houston Ballet and former CFISD student) as the Cavalier, with the Cypress Philhar­monic directed by Glynnes Lanthier.

Houston Repertoire Ballet (HRB) is Houston’s premier pre-professional ballet company. Founded by nationally acclaimed teachers and choreographers Victoria Vittum and Gilbert Rome, HRB is celebrating its 20th anniversary season. For the last several years, HRB’s productions of The Nutcracker have sold out, prompting HRB to add an additional performance in 2015.

The HRB’s goal is to give young, talented, dedicated dancers the serious training needed for them to enter the professional world of dance; many of them advance to professional ballet companies throughout the country. HRB graduates have danced with New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet and other companies. Purchase tickets at hrbdance.org.



The Center for Children and Families is a Cy-Hope counseling clinic offering counseling, training and consultation on a variety of topics to anyone working with or raising children. The Center works with children as young as 18 months and also offers counseling for adolescents and families.

The Center has counselors trained in play therapy to help children work through their life struggles. Play therapy allows children a chance to play out their feelings in a safe place, while building a safe relationship with the therapist. This relationship, along with expressing feelings through play, gives them the opportunity to build confidence and not be tied down by what has happened to them.

Adolescents are counseled with an honest, compassionate approach to create a strong therapeutic relationship. Sometimes therapy needs to involve the entire family. Family group therapy helps people form a bond, work on managing conflict and learn new ways of communication.

Additionally, the center offers speakers to groups that want information on parenting skills, discipline, working with special needs children, teenage issues or family stress. Speaking engagements are typically 1-3 hours long and are used to help educate, train and support those working with or raising child. For more in-depth educational programs, the center has programs for parents, families and teens that provide more than just an overview of a topic.

The center is currently not accepting insurance but can give clients a form to submit for reimbursement. A sliding scale is available on a case-by-case basis. For more information, call 713-466-1360 or visit cy-hopecounseling.org.



The Texas Repertory Theatre Co., Houston’s Uptown Classic Theatre located at 14243 Stuebner Airline Rd., continues its 11th anniversary “Emerging Visions” season with a new staging of the holiday comedy Inspecting Carol, opening Dec. 3 and playing through Dec. 23.

Get your holiday cheer on with this hilarious, madcap comedy. Behind the scenes of a struggling theatre’s annual slapdash production of A Christmas Carol, rehearsals are at a standstill. Tim is no longer Tiny, Scrooge wants to do the play in Spanish (Feliz   Navidad), and their funding is on hold pending an inspection. When this production of Dicken’s Christmas classic takes the stage, this laugh-out-loud spoof makes for a night at the theatre that is anything but show business as usual. Inspecting Carol is an immensely entertaining treat.

The Texas Repertory Theatre features David Wald, Marilyn Ocker, David Harlan, Sally Burtenshaw, and other Texas Repertory Theatre favorites under the direction of Walter Baker, director of The Texas Repertory productions of Wait Until Dark and The Foreigner. For tickets or more information call 281-583-7573 or visit texreptheatre.org.



The knitting, crocheting and conversation group meets every Friday from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in the Earl Elliott meeting room at the Bush Library. Help make lap blankets for veterans and chemo caps for MD Anderson Cancer Center patients. For more information, call 281-376-4610. The library is located at 6817 Cypresswood Dr.



The Cy-Fair Kiwanis Club meets on the first, second and third Tuesday of each month at 12:15 p.m. for lunch and informative programs at Hearthstone Country Club. The group sponsors children’s activities that develop leadership and good citizenship in the youth of the community.

Membership is open to persons of good character who adhere to the standards of good conduct in their community and believe in and subscribe to the objectives of Kiwanis International.

Visit kiwanishoustoncyfair.com, or call John Carroll (Copper­field and Hearthstone areas) at 281-463-0373 or George Crowl (Jersey Village area) at 832-467-1998.



The Friends of the Fairbanks Public Library will be hosting a Books, Etc., Sale on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The Friends of the Library sell books for less than online bookstores, with no shipping charges or sales taxes. It’s a great opportunity to buy inexpensive gifts or stock up on books to read during the cool days ofwinter. All proceeds help provide funding for library programs and materials.

Many of the books offered by the Friends of the Library look brand new. They have an excellent selection of hardback bestsellers, as well as paperbacks, cookbooks, science fiction, romance, mystery, fantasy, children’s books, young adult books and other items, such as CDs and movies.

The library is located at 7122 N. Gessner, near the intersection of N. Gessner and W. Little York. For information or directions, call the library at 713-466-4438.



Senior citizens can take a mid-week break at the Bush Library to enjoy games and conversation. Adult Game Mornings are held in the Robin Bush Children’s Activity Room from 10 a.m.-noon on Wednesdays.

Rummikube and Domino games are ongoing, or bring your own games. Meet new friends or bring a friend. The library is located at 6817 Cypresswood Dr. in Spring. For more information, call 281-376-4610.


(Front row, l-r): Sarah Cermak, Elizabeth Cermak, Courtney Reid, Evelyn Nava and Victoria Vasisko; (middle row) Katie McElroy, Isabella Wallace, Clarissa Wallace, Ariana Chaidez, Journey Rasmussen and Mary Damian; (back row): Grace Schlafer, Andreina Hurtado, Hannah Wilhelmsen, Henry Ginsburg, Bobby Ginsburg, Finn Adams and Paige Hacker.

(Front row, l-r): Sarah Cermak, Elizabeth Cermak, Courtney Reid, Evelyn Nava and Victoria Vasisko; (middle row) Katie McElroy, Isabella Wallace, Clarissa Wallace, Ariana Chaidez, Journey Rasmussen and Mary Damian; (back row): Grace Schlafer, Andreina Hurtado, Hannah Wilhelmsen, Henry Ginsburg, Bobby Ginsburg, Finn Adams and Paige Hacker.


The Texas Gulf Coast Chapter (TGCC) of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has announced the dates for its Holiday Showhouse located at 54 North Windsail Place in The Woodlands. This home will be designed and furnished by some of the most talented designers from TGCC ASID.

The open house will take place on Dec. 5-6, 10-13 and 17-20 with the hours as follows: Thursdays – Fridays, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; and Sundays, noon–5 p.m. The showhouse will close after tours on Sunday, Dec. 20.

ASID has presented showhouses across the Houston metroplex since beginning in 1975 and first showcased a home in The Woodlands in 1998. This will be the fourth Woodlands holiday showhouse and the first major renovation of an estate home. The other three showhomes in The Woodlands were new construction.

A design committee works with all of the designers to maintain a flow to the home while at the same time allowing each designer to bring their own creativity to the project. This home and its setting are unique in that the land is over an acre and boasts over 300 feet of lake frontage. Additionally, the back of the home faces east, so the home is basked in light. The three-story home resembles a castle sitting amidst beautifully manicured lawns, complete with water features and bronze statues to a negative edge pool and a floating boat dock. The halls will be decked for the holidays, so you won’t want to miss it.

Pre-sale tickets are available for $12. Ticket prices will go up to $15 on Dec. 5. Visit asidholidayshowhouse.eventbrite.com to purchase tickets. For more information, visit asidtgcc.org/holidayshowhouse.



Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) presents A Christmas Story The Musical Dec. 8-20 at The Hobby Center for Performing Arts – Sarofim Hall, 800 Bagby St.

Prepare yourself for an all-American Christmas in the holiday show heralded by the Associated Press as “a charming triumph infused with utter joy.” In this clever musical adaptation of the 1983 film comedy, follow the childhood dreams and schemes of little Ralphie, whose heart is set on getting one thing and one thing only for Christmas – the official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle.

Along the way, discover the stuff of pink nightmares (think bunny suit), the power of fishnet-clad lamps (careful, it’s fra-GEE-lay), and the wintry hazards of sticking a warm tongue to a cold metal pole. With its timeless scenes, quirky innocence and nostalgic warmth, this musical trip down memory lane will leave the whole family bright-eyed and buoyant. For more information, visit TUTS.com.



Bring an Aggie-themed ornament to the NWHC Aggie Mom’s Club annual Aggie Ornament Exchange on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Houston Distri­buting Company, 7100 High Life Drive.

The NWHC Aggie Moms club raises money throughout the year to fund scholarships to students from the local community. Eligible students should check the websitefor details at nwhcaggiemoms.org. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 2.

Don’t miss the Annual China Luncheon and Style Show on Saturday, Feb. 20 from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Shirley Acres located at 217 Woerner Rd., Spring. Get your ticket(s) at one of the monthly meetings or visit the website.

For more information contact Tami Denault at tamidenault@sbcglobal.net.


Santa has arrived at Willowbrook Mall.

Santa has arrived at Willowbrook Mall.


Santa is settled into his home-away-from-home, ready to greet visitors and listen to holiday wishes of kids of all ages with his elves nearby, prepared to lend a helping hand and snap a commemorative photo in his holiday wonderland near JCPenney.

This year, there’s an extra sparkle and shine to greet Santa and all his visitors as Willowbrook Mall has decked the halls with fresh, new holiday finery. With lots of twinkle and bright festive colors, traditional with a fun twist, the festive look is sure to put visitors in the holiday spirit.

New this holiday season, guests have the opportunity to reserve their visit with Santa, enhancing the experience and eliminating the need to wait in line. Reservations can be made from the My Time with Santa feature on the mall’s website. Visitors can simply select a desired date and time and pre-purchase a photo package to secure a reservation. Guests will save 30 percent or more with their pre-purchase of a photo package through the reservation site. Reservations are not required to visit Santa.

In addition, Santa will host other holiday activities at Willowbrook Mall, including:

Pet Nights with Santa Claus: Willowbrook Mall hosts Pet Nights on Mondays, through Dec. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. Cats and dogs on a leash or in an appropriate carrier only. Animals, other than those servicing the disabled, are not allowed in the shopping center other than during on Pet Nights. Pet owners are asked to use Entrance 3 near Los Cucos Mexican Cafe.

Angel Tree: Shoppers are invited to choose an angel from The Salvation Army Tree and provide a gift for that child or senior citizen. Gifts can be dropped off at the Angel Tree by Friday, Dec.18.

Family Portrait: While in line to see Santa, guests can stop and have a quick holiday photo taken of the whole group against a festive background. The Family Portrait photos will be available to see and purchase when viewing the photos taken with Santa.

Gift Wrapping: Beginning Saturday, Dec. 12-Thursday, Dec. 24, shoppers can get gifts wrapped at a special station near Macy’s Men’s store. Proceeds go to charity.

Santa will be at Willowbrook Mall daily through Thursday, Dec. 24. He does take breaks throughout the day, so be sure to check his schedule at the mall web site.

For more information or reservations with Santa, visit


Beaumont Ozen and Dallas Kimball high schools met in the championship game of the 2014 Cypress Hoops Invitational, with Ozen walking away with the title trophy.

Beaumont Ozen and Dallas Kimball high schools met in the championship game of the 2014 Cypress Hoops Invitational, with Ozen walking away with the title trophy.


One of the state’s best basketball tournaments returns to Cypress with a new name, as the sixth annual Houston Methodist Cy-Hoops Invitational, benefiting the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation (CFEF), takes stage Dec. 10-12. Houston Methodist signed on as the named partner for the tournament through a multi-year agreement with Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital and Houston Methodist West Hospital.

The foundation’s goal is to create a premier high school basketball tournament that engages the community, promotes the sport of basketball, fosters community spirit and raises funds for student scholarships and staff development grants to Cypress-Fairbanks ISD.

Games will be played at the Berry Center, Cy-Fair High School, Langham Creek High School and Cypress Woods High School, with a bracket and game times to be released after the Thanksgiving holiday. The championship game will be played at 4 p.m. on Dec. 12 at the Berry Center (8877 Barker Cypress Road).

The tournament will again be loaded with talent, including some of the top teams in the state of Texas and the 10 CFISD boys’ varsity basketball teams. The 2014 tournament champion, Beaumont Ozen, was the UIL Class 5A state runner-up; while 2013 tournament champion, Galena Park North Shore, was Class 5A (now 6A) state champion.

Sponsorships are available. Visit the CFEF website at TheCFEF.org or contact executive director Marie Holmes at marie@thecfef.org.




The 7th Annual Bridgeland Chili Cook-Off will take place Dec. 12 from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Bridgeland’s Oak Meadow Park located at House and Hahl roads in Cypress.

Cooking will begin at 6 a.m., judging at noon, and then chili will be available for all to taste. Additionally, a Jackpot Beans contest as well as a Jackpot Gumbo contest will also be held. The contest is open to all of Cypress and Houston. Rules are available on request. There is a $25 cooks entry fee.

There will be first through seventh place winner trophies, people’s choice and best booth trophies. Chili should look good, smell good, and most of all taste good! To register, visit bridgelandlife.com.



At the Dec. 17 Cy-Fair Express Network Luncheon, attendees will enjoy a joyous celebration during the annual Holiday Luncheon and Gift Exchange Event. As always, guests are welcome and encouraged to join in and network.

This month’s CYFEN meeting begins with networking at 11 a.m. followed with a prompt 11:30 a.m. start of the program. Luncheons are held at the Sterling Country Club, 16500 Houston National Blvd.

Now more than 50 members strong, Cy-Fair Express Network is a leader in supporting professional women through a nurturing environment for business development, networking, education and mentoring. Members have opportunities to pursue excellence and achieve both local and national recognition. CYFEN is part of the national organization of American Business Women’s Association (ABWA), for more information go to CYFEN.org.


girl scout cookies


Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council (GSSJC), one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the U.S., will begin selling Girl Scout cookies door-to-door and digitally Dec. 19, approximately three weeks earlier than previous years. The program is the largest girl-led business in the world and teaches girls essential skills to succeed personally and professionally, including goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. For the last two years, GSSJC has had the top cookie sale in the country.

Through the Cookie Program, Girl Scouts venture into the entrepreneurial world to learn business skills and financial literacy and earn money to fund their service oriented goals. When customers purchase a box of Girl Scout cookies, they are enabling girls to become advocates for issues they are passionate about, or they are sending a city kid from a low-income household to camp. A purchase can also send a girl overseas to learn about an archipelago or help girls purchase supplies to send care packages to soldiers serving abroad. Every Girl Scout cookie purchase supports girls as they do great things in their communities and encourages them to change the world.

With the new season brings the 10th anniversary of Lemonades. These savory slices of shortbread with a refreshing tangy lemon flavored icing are a customer favorite. Gluten free chocolate chip-peanut butter- oatmeal cookies, called Trios, will be offered again. The bite-size cookies will retail for $5 per package. Trios will only be available at cookie booths or can be ordered online via COCOdirect.

Online orders will delivered between Jan. 30 and Feb. 6. Beginning Feb. 12, Girl Scout Cookies will be sold at cookie booths outside of grocery stores and other retail venues. The Cookie Program ends March 20.


Dancer Allison Miller and artist of Houston Ballet.

Dancer Allison Miller and artist of Houston Ballet.


From Nov. 27–Dec. 27 Houston Ballet bids farewell to Ben Stevenson’s beloved production of The Nutcracker. Created by Artistic Director Emeritus Ben Stevenson, with designs by acclaimed designer Desmond Heeley, this ballet performance has been Houston’s premiere holiday tradition since 1987. Over 1,000,000 people have seen the production since its premiere 29 years ago and have watched in rapture as the story has unfolded before them. In 2016, Houston Ballet will premiere a new version of The Nutcracker by Artistic Director Stanton Welch, featuring all-new sets and costumes.

The story of The Nutcracker has a special place in Houston Ballet’s repertory as the first full-length work to enter Houston Ballet’s repertoire in a staging by Frederic Franklin, featuring scenery and costumes by the English designer Peter Farmer. The company gave six performances in 1972 at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, and has danced the work each December without fail for the following 44 years.

Houston Ballet will give 34 performances of Ben Stevenson’s version of The Nutcracker, to a live orchestra, in the Brown Theater at Wortham Theater Center in downtown Houston. Tickets may be purchased by calling 713-227-2787 or logging on to houstonballet.org.



The San Luis invites you to ring in the new year at “Midnight in Paris,” an all-inclusive evening of music, food, celebration and more. Attendees will enjoy an award-winning chef’s four-course meal, generously hosted premium bar, entertainment by Password Band, champagne toast, balloon drop, party hats and favors. Interested parties can book luxurious overnight accommodations and two extravaganza event tickets from $599 per couple. The New Year’s Eve celebration event is $199 per person.

For more information or to book your tickets, call 409-744-1500.


A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, directed by Michael Wilson at The Alley Theatre 11/05 Scenic Design:Tony Straiges Costume Design: Alejo Vietti Lighting: Rui Rita Photo Credit: T Charles Erickson


Alley Theatre Artistic Director Gregory Boyd invites the Houston-area community to the theatre’s 28th production of A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas, staged in the newly renovated Hubbard Theatre at 615 Texas Avenue. Michael Wilson’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol returns this year with a re-telling of Charles Dickens’ classic story, which follows Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey with the three ghostly spirits that visit him on Christmas Eve. The production instills a powerful message about redemption and holiday spirit. Houston’s seasonal favorite has been seen by nearly one million adults and children. This year, Alley Associate Director James Black directs this colorful, comical and music-filled production.

Tickets are now on sale and start at $26. Discounted tickets are available for any student, regardless of age, with a valid student ID for $16 for designated performances in designated sections. Tickets can be ordered online (alleytheatre.org) or by phone (713-220-5700). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. This show is recommended for general audiences, children six and older.



On Feb. 13 the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation (CFEF) will hold its eighth annual Salute to Our Heroes Gala at the Omni Hotel. Joe Myers Ford Lincoln is underwriting this gala that honors the brave men and women who have served to protect freedom and liberty. Gerald Coffee is the guest speaker. Coffee served as a naval officer for 28 years, much of that as one of the longest held prisoners of war in the prisons of communist North Vietnam. His military decorations include the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Stars, the Air Medal, two Purple Hearts, and the Vietnam Service Medal with 13 stars. Salute to Our Heroes has raised more than half-a-million dollars over the past seven years. Proceeds from this event have funded three endowed scholarships. CFEF was established in 1970 as a non-profit to raise money to fund a scholarship for high school graduates in the area. Over the past 45 years, the Foundation has grown tremendously through the efforts of the board of trustees and the generosity of the Cy-Fair Community. The Foundation has awarded more than $6 million in scholarships to 1,300 graduating seniors. All contributions to CFEF are tax deductible, as allowed by the law. Sponsorships and tickets are available for Salute to Our Heroes. Ticket prices are $100 for individual or $50 for veterans.

For more information, contact marie@thecfef.org or visit TheChttp://TheCFEF.orgFEF.org.

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