The Woodlands community was founded Oct. 19, 1974, by entrepreneur George Mitchell, and celebrations marking the occasion will be organized by founding sponsor Howard Hughes along with other sponsors and supporting partner The Woodlands Township through late 2024.

What to expect

Jim Carman, president of Howard Hughes Houston region, and Ann Snyder, chair of The Woodlands Township board of directors, announced plans for the events through late 2024.
  • Each month through the end of 2024 will have a theme reflected in events and content provided by the township and Howard Hughes.
  • A gala will be held Oct. 5, 2024.
  • A community event will be held Oct. 19, 2024, featuring events for residents.
Throughout the year, other events will coincide with the themes prepared for the anniversary year. For example, The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival takes place in April, when arts and events is the anniversary theme, Snyder said. Other monthly themes include sustainability and the environment in January, when Arbor Day takes place, she said. October 2024 will be a month of celebration, according to the event organizers. Monthly content provided by the township and Howard Hughes will reflect the history of the community and its future, Carman said.

Also of note

In addition to The Woodlands, several other entities in the community are celebrating 50th anniversaries in 2023 and 2024.What they're saying

"The future is in a large part due to that vision George Mitchell had for sustainable practices. ... Those principles ... are what guide Howard Hughes today to maintain that legacy and carry on ... into the future,” Carman said.

"The true beauty of the 50th anniversary of The Woodlands is our hometown’s generosity of spirit and belief in the good of fellow neighbors that was instilled in the beginning,” Snyder said.

“Decades ago, my father, the optimist, envisioned a vibrant community carved out of the forest, living with respect for the natural environment and for one another,” said Grant Mitchell, son of George Mitchell and Cynthia Woods Mitchell. “Its success 50 years on is the product of tens of thousands of individuals who have stewarded his values, affirming his undying belief in the fundamental goodness in people. And it is through that goodness that the legacy of these first 50 years will be assured for generations to come.”

What's next

Events are being funded through a number of sponsors as well as Howard Hughes, but fundraising for future events is also ongoing, organizers said. Other sponsors include Woodforest National Bank, Waste Connections Inc., Entergy Texas, Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital, SVN/J Beard Real Estate and The John Cooper School.

Organizers are also preparing a commemorative book and seeking photos for the publication, which will be collected through May 31. Additional details will be available on The Woodlands 50th anniversary website, Carman said. Merchandise bearing the 50th anniversary logo will be sold by social services agency Interfaith of The Woodlands, and proceeds will benefit the agency.