HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Shoppers, tickets for the Spring Nutcracker Market have just gone on sale!
The springtime edition of the popular holiday shopping event returns to NRG Center on April 16-18. After COVID-19 prompted the cancellation of in-person shopping for both Nutcracker Market and Nutcracker Market Spring in 2020, this return will mark an important milestone for one of Houston's most beloved shopping traditions.
"We cannot overstate how excited we are to return to NRG Center and bring back an in-person market for our merchants and shoppers," Patsy Chapman, CEO of the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market, said earlier this year.
After debuting in 2019, last year's Spring Market was canceled due to COVID-19.
To prepare for the event, Nutcracker Market and NRG Park are closely following the guidance provided by governmental agencies and health authorities.
"By design, we spread out the layout of the event as much as we can to create a socially distant shopping experience where everyone feels comfortable and safe," said Chapman. "For example, our aisles will be double the size of the average grocery store aisle. Additionally, we are tracking the exact number of how many shoppers are inside the building at all times to ensure the hall is below capacity. We feel confident about our ability to maintain capacity limits given Nutcracker Market Spring is a significantly smaller show than our November event. We are adamant on following every guideline and restriction to ensure a safe event for everyone."
Notable changes and COVID-19 protocols shoppers can expect include:
- Anyone ages two and older entering NRG Park property (indoors or out) for Nutcracker Market Spring will be required to wear a mask - no exceptions - and practice social distancing.
- Event staff will monitor for social distancing and mask wearing.
- There will be increased space between booths and significant spacing of the aisles. The average Nutcracker Market Spring aisle will be 24-feet wide.
- The market will be spread through four halls, as compared to the two halls used for the 2019 Nutcracker Market Spring.
- NRG Park capacity for shoppers will be limited to 6,500. Staff will keep count of shoppers as they enter and exit the halls.
- NRG Park will provide enhanced cleaning procedures throughout the day, including cleaning high-touch surfaces and deep cleaning every evening.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be available.
- Concessions will be limited. Only when actively eating or drinking, shoppers may remove their masks.
- NRG Park has upgraded the filters for all air-handling units to high efficiency MERV-13 air filtration system.
- Many merchants will offer touchless payment options. All concessions will only offer touchless payment options.
- Health screenings, including temperature checks, will be performed on all persons upon entering NRG Park.
While November's Nutcracker Market serves as Houston's holiday season kick-off, Nutcracker Market Spring celebrates all things spring and summer. Think graduation and wedding gifts, or prepping for warm weather fun like the beach and backyard BBQs.
Along with the annual market held in November, Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market Spring is a fundraiser that allows shoppers to give back to the community. Proceeds from admission tickets plus 10% of all merchandise sales support the Houston Ballet Foundation, its academy and scholarship programs.
April 16-18, 2021
Friday, April 16 - 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 17 - 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday, April 18 - 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
General Admission tickets are good for one-day admission April 16-18, 2021.
General Admission tickets are $18 at H-E-B Business Centers and $20 at Ticketmaster.com and must be purchased in advance.
All ticket sales are final and no refunds will be available unless the event is cancelled.
Due to capacity restrictions, all persons, regardless of age, are required to have a ticket for entry.
There will be NO onsite ticket sales at NRG Center during the market.
Early Bird Admission will NOT be available for this event.
Strollers, carts, rolling bags and wagons are not permitted inside. There will be a complimentary check-in area in the lobby for these items. Wheelchairs, walkers, and other ADA approved mobility devices are permitted. Pets are not allowed unless they are certified service animals.
The video featured above is from a previous report.