Best of 225: People and Entertainment

BEST BAR FOR LIVE MUSIC (23.3%)
VARSITY THEATRE
Live music in Baton Rouge has been on the upswing in recent years, and a big reason is Varsity Theatre at the north gates of LSU. The venue—open for more than two decades—has brought in plenty of diverse acts lately, and local residents have taken notice. Also, the tiered theater levels and balcony mean there’s plenty of room to avoid being stuck behind a tall person while trying to rock out to your favorite band. varsitytheatre.com

Runners-up:
(13%) Ringside at Sullivan’s
(12.7%) Superior Grill
(12.6%) Chelsea’s Cafe
(9.8%) Lava Cantina


BEST COMMUNITY EVENT (20.4%)
LIVE AFTER FIVE
Baton Rouge knows how to let loose after work on Fridays, and downtown’s Live After Five is where we come together for all the revelry. The long-running free event has settled in nicely under the new Galvez Plaza canopy in North Boulevard’s Town Square. More than 32,000 locals take in the music and fun each spring and fall for a total of 16 shows featuring popular local bands. downtownbr.org
(Photo by: Kristine Condon)

Runners-up:
(19%) Wearin’ of the Green St. Patrick’s Day Parade
(16.5%) Red Stick Farmers Market
(12%) Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade and Ball
(6.2%) Hollydays


BEST FESTIVAL WORTH THE DRIVE (36.4%)
NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL
While our readers proved that people are finding a good time worth the drive in all corners of the state, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival still has our hearts. The two-week-long celebration is packed with performers, crowds, so many lawn chairs and some of the best festival food you’ll find anywhere. 2014 was a special year for Jazz Fest, as the event celebrated its 45th anniversary. nojazzfest.com
(Photo by: Mariana Massey)

Runners-up:
(23.5%) French Quarter Festival
(12.9%) Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival
(10.8%) Festival International de Louisiane
(7.1%) Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival


BEST METRO COUNCIL MEMBER (21.8%)
JOHN DELGADO
The men of the Metro Council seem to be making the most impression on our readers, with John Delgado taking the lead. Representing District 12, which includes the Kenilworth and Southdowns neighborhoods, he’s been vocal about the proposed St. George incorporation, the CATS board, crime statistics in the Capital City and more, proving he knows how to speak his mind. brgov.com/dept/council

Runners-up:
(15.6%) Chandler Loupe
(12.4%) Joel Boe
(11.2%) Ryan Heck
(7.9%) Tara Wicker

Editor’s note: Though John Delgado received the highest number of votes for Best Metro Council Member—389 out of the 1,787 total cast—a whopping 58.3% of responders to our survey this year chose the option “None of the Above” for this first-time category.

BEST BAR TO WATCH SPORTS (40.8%)
WALK-ON’S BISTREAUX & BAR
When you go out to watch a game, you need a couple of things: food, drink and a comfortable spot to cheer on your team. Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar reigns as city champ for the sports bar, providing all these necessities. The good news has spread to Lafayette and New Orleans, and in 2012, ESPN named the spot “Best Sports Bar in America.” Multiple locations. walk-ons.com

Runners-up:
(11.8%) Pluckers Wing Bar
(8.7%) The Chimes
(8.4%) The Pelican House Tap Room & Whiskey Bar
(7.7%) Buffalo Wild Wings


BEST PLACE FOR A GROWN-UP BIRTHDAY PARTY (20.5%)
L’AUBERGE CASINO AND HOTEL
In a category mostly dominated by restaurants—adults, like toddlers, are happiest when they are fed—this local casino came out on top. Open in 2012, the casino and hotel has a rooftop pool with private cabanas, a lively bar with live music, one of the classiest restaurants in town (18 Steak) and a calendar filled with great touring acts. lbatonrouge.com

Runners-up:
(17.9%) Superior Grill
(13.8%) Ruffino’s Restaurant
(11.8%) Tsunami
(7.4%) The Pelican House Tap Room & Whiskey Bar


BEST NONPROFIT (17.9%)
SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL OF BATON ROUGE
Winning this category for the second year in a row, Society of St. Vincent de Paul proves its consistent leadership in caring for Baton Rouge’s most vulnerable residents. But the nonprofit’s reach is much farther, helping the less fortunate via soup kitchens, shelters, distribution centers and more in the 12 parishes that make up the greater Baton Rouge area. svdpbr.org
(Photo by: Collin Richie)

Runners-up:
(14.2%) The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank
(9.1%) Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge
(7.6%) Junior League of Baton Rouge
(7.5%) Trafficking Hope

BEST PERFORMING ARTS GROUP (29.4%)
BATON ROUGE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
There are few spectacles as grand as watching a full symphony orchestra launch into a movement, and Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra (pictured on page 87) knows a lot about spectacle. Whether it’s their much-loved holiday concerts, the Symphony Pops event on the lawn of the LSU Burden Center or the many other performances they stage throughout the year, the musicians of the BRSO know how to move us. brso.org

Runners-up:
(17.5%) Theatre Baton Rouge
(16.1%) Swine Palace
(14.3%) Playmakers of Baton Rouge
(9.4%) Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre


BEST VISUAL ARTIST (42.1%)
C.C. LOCKWOOD
This Arkansas-raised photographer fell in love with the Bayou State in the 1970s and has been studying it through a lens ever since. A dedicated chronicler of Louisiana nature and wildlife, C.C. Lockwood has seen his iconic photographs published in Smithsonian magazine and National Geographic, bound into a dozen books and even featured on Louisiana’s bicentennial stamp. cclockwood.com
(Photo by: Collin Richie)

Runners-up:
(12.9%) Lauren Barksdale
(10.7%) Tate Tullier
(10.6%) Jeannie Frey Rhodes
(7.7%) David Humphreys

BEST RADIO STATION (15.4%)
WFMF 102.5
Whether your choice of in-car entertainment is Kidd Kraddick in the morning or Ryan Seacrest’s celeb-friendly afternoon broadcast, WFMF 102.5 has it covered. Tune in for community outreach, iHeartRadio giveaways and, of course, the hottest hits of the moment all day long. wfmf.com

Runners-up:
(12.7%) WDGL Eagle 98.1
(8.9%) WRKF 89.3
(8.2%—tie) WTGE The Tiger 100.7
(8.2%—tie) WBKL K-LOVE 92.7


BEST SPORTSCASTER (21.2%)
JACQUES DOUCET
WAFB’s sports anchor has been around the block. With coverage of two LSU football national championships as well as the Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl win under his belt, Jacques Doucet has become as much a part of the Red Stick sports scene as beer and boudin. Behind the scenes, Doucet runs Red, Rock & Blue, an annual charity event benefitting Louisiana servicemen. wafb.com
(Photo by: Collin Richie)

Runners-up:
(14.4%) Gordy Rush
(14.2%) Michael Cauble
(14.1%) Matt Moscona
(9.5%) Steve Schneider

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