Clear Lake Chatter
By: Mary Alys Cherry
A PRETTY BLONDE Clear Falls High senior is the new queen of Lunar Rendezvous as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Mariska Valerie Mes, who was elected by her fellow princesses, was crowned at the Lunar Rendezvous Coronation Ball in the San Luis Convention Center in Galveston and will reign over the 2016 festival next summer. She is the daughter of Brenda and Rudolf Mes of League City.
The 2016 queen alternate is Jessica Michelle Monette, daughter of Terri and Todd Monette, also of League City, and a senior at Lutheran South Academy. Joseph Michael Corrao, son of Joseph and Brandie Corrao of Nassau Bay, was chosen by his fellow lieutenants to be the 2016 captain. He will be a senior at Clear Lake High.
Ball Chairman Elizabeth Byrd Olin and Co-Chairman Katie Jones welcomed a black-tie crowd of more than 600 to the festival finale, where they enjoyed an elegant dinner and danced to the music of Password — – much to the delight of some 50 former kings, court members and past royals in attendance.
Besides the presentation of the royal court of princesses and lieutenants along with 2015 King Jerry Ross, Queen Allison Powell, Queen Alternate Demerle Monks and Capt. Jack Mullens by U.S. Army Col. (Ret) and former astronaut William McArthur, who emceed the event, it was also a night to honor the little court – the pages and little ladies in waiting, who always add charm to the event.
EARLIER IN THE WEEK, another big crowd of about 600 gathered at the Convention Center for the 50th Lunar Rendezvous Fashion Show, chaired by Michelle Holland and Deborah Reichert and produced by fashion guru Lenny Matuszewski Jr. for the 27th time.
Melanie Lovuola and Kathy Panneton, two long-time volunteers committed to the mission of the Lunar Rendezvous Festival, were presented the Golden Jubilee Award, and Kimberly Barker won the Spirit Award as volunteer of the year at the always popular event.
LOTS OF FORMER festival chairmen were on hand for the annual Lunar Rendezvous Dining Event, at Tommy’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar in Clear Lake.
While Festival Chairman Jana Miller mingled with the crowd, Chairman Tisa Foster and Co-Chairman Tracy Clause were at the door welcoming all with big smiles, including Past Festival Chairmen Ann Wismer Landolt, Mary Ann Shallberg, Mike and Kathy Reeves, Gloria Wong, Jill Reason, Annette Dwyer, Pat Wilson, Terri Dieste, Peggy Clause, Mary Williams, Kelli McCorkle Byrd and Jill Williams Lammers, who is the current Advisory Board chairman.
Shuttle complex opens on Jan. 23
It’s a date! Space Center Houston will open the new international landmark Independence Plaza on Jan. 23. The eight-story-tall multiple-exhibit complex is the biggest project for the nonprofit since the center opened in 1992 and features a shuttle replica mounted on top of the first shuttle carrier aircraft.
The announcement comes on the anniversary of the first free flight of a shuttle on Aug. 12, 1977, when Enterprise was released from atop what is now Space Center Houston’s shuttle carrier aircraft, NASA 905. That SCA ferried shuttles 223 times and now carries the high-fidelity shuttle replica Independence, the world’s only shuttle mounted on an SCA and the only place where the public will be able to enter both.