Photos by Jenn Ocken

Seeing stars: Three friends roll out the red carpet for Oscars-themed bash

The minutes ticked by as the excitement built. The red carpet was ready. Cameras clicked and flash bulbs popped. Security was ready with proper identification questions. Guests were ready for the fun of the Oscar event. No, not the one in Hollywood, but the party here in Baton Rouge hosted by Laurie Aronson, Marcia Sanchez and Lauren Eglin.

“My best friend Marcia and I used to gather with our former high-school friends’ group to watch the Oscars together,” explains Aronson of the origins of the annual affair. “Then we started inviting other friends to join us. One year, a friend of ours, Shannon McKernan, showed up at the front door in a ball gown with rhinestone earrings and we became hysterical! Since then, we started dressing up for the parties.” Guests at the ladies-only fete usually number 80 to 100, and the oohs and aahs can be heard blocks away.

Preparation is an important part of any themed party, and this cinematic celebration is no different. Aronson advises hosts to start gathering items that reflect the theme as soon as they determine what it is. Decorations are important to the success of the event because they help create the mood, and Aronson works hard at making a mood filled with movie magic. “I’ve been collecting movie memorabilia for years,” she says. “Each year I go to local cinemas and ask them for this year’s posters. I even do it when I’m traveling! Over the years, I’ve also received some movie swag from some of the producers and have collected so many other pieces of Oscar and movie memorabilia such as Black Swan jackets, The Descendants shirts, I, Tonya coasters, marquis banners and whatever else I can put my hands on.”

Aronson, Sanchez and Eglin strive to connect the event’s menu to the theme as well. “We name our foods after the movies, the characters, the actors and actresses, and just about anything Oscar-esque,” Aronson says. “It’s not as hard as you think!” This year’s list of edible goodies, prepared by Sanchez’s mother, Marion Sotile, included Fish Oscar, Streep Sandwiches, Mudbound Meatballs, Lady Bird Chicken, Dunkirk Desserts, McDormand Movie Candy, The Post Popcorn, Darkest Hour Dip, Daniel Day Lewis Liquor and even an appetizer dubbed “I, Tonya, am a Cheeseball.”

Considering Aronson’s real-life role as CEO of Haspel Clothing, it’s no wonder that wardrobe plays a big part in setting the atmosphere for the evening. “Costumes are a must and add so much fun to the party,” Aronson says. “We have a Best Dressed contest with awards for individuals and groups and even a Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Check out more photos from this Oscars-themed party in our gallery below: