White Light Night here in Baton Rouge is one of the biggest events of the year and hosts hundreds of artists at dozens of local businesses in Mid City. With this year’s event coming up (November 22, 6-10pm), tons of information on how to navigate it, and a lack of information on the actual event, I decided to do a quick interview with one of the organizers!
In the video below you can learn more about White Light Night and if you need more information regarding resources, maps, and parking, please click the button below.
Cameron: Hi everyone! I’m Cameron Boudreaux – the face behind Red Stick Life and Realtor with Keller Williams Red Stick Partners here in Baton Rouge. You might know me from my weekly events posts, but today I’m mixing things up, heading to The Market at Circa 1857 and interviewing one of the organizers for a major upcoming event. Let’s see what she has to say!
Marlee: Hi! I’m Marlee and I work with the Electric Depot which is a new development/conversion of the Energy building on Government Street – you might have seen the two huge brick buildings with the lights between them. We have several community events coming up in addition to White Light Night, but I also work directly with Mid City Merchants and have for a couple of years to help put on White Light Night and Hot Art Cool Nights which are two signature events here in Mid City.
Cameron: Can you tell us a little more about White Light Night specifically? So what exactly is it?
Marlee: White Light Night is an hop, but it’s really the biggest art hop we have in Baton Rouge. It’s all along Government Street, around 70-75 businesses host individual art hops all on the same night, all at the same time, coordinating together to help pool resources to ensure security, get permits, and provide busses to take people around to all the different events. In one night, we single-handedly invite hundreds of local artists from our area to show and sell their work and to gain an audience that they might not have otherwise.
Cameron: Awesome! I know I am very excited for it as I am every year, but what is your favorite thing about it?
Marlee: Wow, that is so hard to say because I love so much about it! But it’s really the air of community spirit. It’s local businesses volunteering their time and money to invite people and artists into their space, it’s run entirely by volunteers – nobody gets paid to put on White Light Night, and everybody’s contributing to have a complete free event for people like you to come and enjoy and see what our neighborhoods and local community have to offer.
Cameron: So if you had one piece of advice for anyone visiting, what would that be?
Marlee: Well, I would say to come to view us and have that same air of community spirit. We’re slap dash and getting those tents up and doing our best, the artists are doing their best to get as much work ready as possible. Definitely come to be a part of that. The other piece of advice I would have is with parking – it’s usually a problem right? So businesses elect to shut down normal operations and close down heir parking lots to have artists come and set up but that means that you visitors might have an issue with finding a place to park. This year Mid City Merchants and White Light Night is sponsored by The Electric Depot to help make our events even bigger and they have also offered for anyone to come and use their parking! Start their evening out at The Electric Depot, which is at the corner of 15th St and Government St, to com, grab a drink, see the artists there then hop on a bus and head down to businesses like this [The Market at Circa 1857], Mid City Makers Market, Rocca, Red Stick Spice…all the way at the other end is having a really big event too – we’ve got tons of businesses really devoting themselves so it should really be a great year to come out.
Cameron: I am so excited, especially for the busses to be able to park and make it to everything. And really quick/last thing – Where can we find more information? Info about parking, vendors, sponsors, all of that?
Marlee: We definitely want you to check out our sponsors, and I’m sure you have a list of them (shared below!), but our website midcitymerchantsbr.org – if you head there, you’ll be able to find everything that you need to know, we have a FB event with 5,000 people interested, and will be trying to post updates there to let people know about parking and to let people know about where some of the businesses are that are doing it big and exciting this year.
Cameron: Thank you again so much for sharing the information! I’ll be sharing as much as I can on FB, email, everything, but if you have any specific questions feel free to reach out to me or I can get you in touch with Marlee for you. Bye!