People and Entertainment

The Varsity Theatre 29.1%
3353 Highland Rd. • 383-7018
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Just big enough to pack in a crowd, but small enough to feel intimate, this entertainment institution never lacks for diversity in its lineup. The Varsity hosts headliners like Better Than Ezra, Bush and The Flaming Lips, as well as local favorites like Givers, The Molly Ringwalds and The Michael Foster Project. Walk in and you’re as likely to see indie rockers as local rappers on the stage. And where else in Baton Rouge can you get close enough to Willie Nelson to see the scratches on his guitar?

Runners-up: Chelsea’s Cafe (15%), Sullivan’s (11.2%), Superior Grill (10.5 %), Boudreaux & Thibodeaux’s (8.3%)

Mid City White Light Night 38.9%
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The Government Street corridor lights up for this popular art hop that sees dozens of galleries, restaurants and shops open for a steady flow of patrons and live music.

Runners-up:t FestForAll (23.9%), Art Melt (14.6%)

Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar 36.3%
Multiple locations
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Drop by to watch an LSU away game, and the atmosphere is electric. These colossal, strategically placed screens ensure you won’t miss a second of the game, no matter where you sit.

Runners-up: Pluckers Wing Bar (12.7%), Buffalo Wild Wings (8.3%), The Bulldog (8.2%), The Chimes (8%)

Whitney Vann 24.7%
For a journalist in the modern world, tackling social media is a must, and WBRZ’s morning anchor Whitney Vann has mastered the art of Facebook. Whether she’s chiming in with an update, posting a picture or telling a story, her posts are regularly Liked. It doesn’t hurt that she has close to 5,000 friends, either.

Runners-up: Jay Ducote (21.0%), Donna Britt (15.7%), Gabby Loubiere (11.6%), JR Ball (11.2%)

Murphy, Sam & Jodi 27.9%
96.1-FM The River
This popular syndicated trio—made up of a husband, wife and friend based in the Baton Rouge area—are on a mission to make morning drive time an absolute gasser, without having to do “earmuffs” if the children are in the car.

Runners-up: Matt Mascona (12.9%), Jim Engster (11.7%), Big D and Bubba (11.3%), Clarence Buggs (9.1%)

Garden District 16.7%
Right down the street from LSU is one of the oldest, most quaint Baton Rouge neighborhoods. The sidewalks and rows of trees in the medians are inviting. There’s hardly anything not beautiful about the city’s original suburb.

Runners-up: Southdowns (15.1%), Hundred Oaks (13.9%), Bocage (10.9%), Old Goodwood (10.2%)

Louisiana Art and Science Museum 20.4%
100 S. River Rd. • 344-5272
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The LASM offers several party packages that are exciting for everyone—just pick a theme, and the museum staff will provide awesome activities, stories and projects for your gaggle of grade-schoolers to enjoy. Kids can climb through a replica Egyptian tomb to examine the 2,300-year-old mummy inside, get hands-on demonstrations of scientific principles and take in an entertaining flick in the Planetarium’s massive projection dome. (Pictured: Christian Patin experiences learning made fun at LASM.)

Runners-up: Baton Rouge Zoo (14.6%), Laser Tag of Baton Rouge (14.6%), It’s My Party (9.9%), BREC Parks (9.4%)

Wearin’ of the Green St. Patrick’s Day Parade 22.5%

Baton Rouge loves a good excuse to party, and the annual Wearin’ of the Green parade gives the city a much-needed Lenten season shot in the arm. The green beer flows freely at this family-friendly event along the Garden District’s shady streets. (Pictured: Bagpiper George Strain is a parade regular.)

Runners-up: Live After Five (22.2%), Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade (15.8%), Bayou Country Music Superfest (11.2%), FestForAll (6.8%)

Society of St. Vincent de Paul 24.4%
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been caring for the most vulnerable members of the Baton Rouge community for nearly 150 years. The organization’s shelters, soup kitchens and distribution centers are there to provide a good night’s sleep, clean clothes and a hot meal to homeless men, women and children in our city—and that’s just scratching the surface of the vital needs they fulfill. Without the tireless efforts of the group’s organizers and volunteers, Baton Rouge would be a much colder city for the less-fortunate portion of the population. (Pictured: St. Vincent de Paul CEO Michael Acaldo.)

Runners-up: Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank (15.6%), Cancer Services of Baton Rouge (10%), Junior League of Baton Rouge (9.5%), Baton Rouge Area Foundation (9.1%)

C.C. Lockwood 27.1%

His is the lens through which we view our world. Louisiana’s long-standing adventurer artist C.C. Lockwood has been exploring the wilderness of the Pelican State and the curves of the Mississippi River for decades to create iconic images of our landscape and indigenous animals. (Pictured: The C.C. Lockwood Gallery at The Backpacker.)

Runners-up: Lauren Barksdale Hill (12.9%), Jeannie Frey Rhodes (9.5%), David Humphreys (7.6%), Rhea Gary (7.3%)

Manship Theatre 47.6%
100 Lafayette St. • (866) 451-2787
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Modeled after the style of classic European opera houses, the Manship Theatre (Alloy: Three Companies, One Dance Experience there is pictured on page 91) ensures that every one of its 325 seats gets a “front-row” experience, with pitch-perfect acoustics and a clear view no matter where you’re seated.

Runners-up: Theatre Baton Rouge [formerly Baton Rouge Little Theater] (12.5%), Baton Rouge River Center (12.4%), The Varsity Theatre (10.7%), LSU Reilly Theatre/Swine Palace (8.7%)

White Oak Plantation 17.3%
17660 George O’Neal Rd. • 751-1882
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Celebrating in high style against the backdrop of a beautiful antebellum mansion seems to be the dream of every proper Southern belle, and White Oak does it up right. Sprawling acres of immaculately landscaped gardens provide a dreamy outdoor backdrop for your special day, and the sweeping staircases, crystal chandeliers and marble floors of the elegant interiors give the proceedings an extra air of magnificence. Add to that the delectable catering packages provided by Chef John Folse’s team, and you’ll be on your way to a day to remember.

Runners-up: Houmas House (15.6%), Old Governor’s Mansion (13.6%), Old State Capitol (9.4%), Baton Rouge Country Club (7.3%)