Friday, May 26, 2017

Molly Meets Ruston: Lincoln Parish Park

Written by: Molly Coleman, Marketing Assistant 

Springtime is here and summer is just around the corner! This means it's time to spend some time outdoors! I get an itch to get outside when the sun comes out and the temperature is above 60! I recently discovered Ruston's Lincoln Parish Park and let me tell you - I am in love!

And since then, I have been back multiple times! I have a very good feeling I will be spending many of my warm weather days out there, especially at the beach! Lincoln Parish Park is absolutely beautiful and there is so much to do for both locals and travelers alike! 

Look how steep this hill is! 

Getting outside and being active is one of my favorite things to do, it's very refreshing and there is just something that is humbling about nature! At Lincoln Parish Park you have so many choices to get outside and be active! Lincoln Parish Park is known for its mountain bike trails, it's actually rated the number one mountain bike trail in the South!! Unfortunately - the only bike I own is a beach bike, so it would not survive these trails! But, if you have a good bike head out to the park because there are so many trails for all levels of riders - beginner to advance. Load up your bike and go for a spin in Ruston at Lincoln Parish Park! There is one hill on the bike trail that is so steep it's shocking - you will have to see this... or try it for yourself! 

But, for those like me, who enjoy running or walking you will absolutely love the paved trail that goes all the way around the lake. It is such a peaceful setting to get out and exercise! I have been out here to run for myself and even to walk my puppy dog! Along my walks and runs the scenery included campsites, wildlife and sometimes I even come across a friendly fisherman or two! There are also a lot of races hosted at the park. I have participated in a few and recently placed in the female division of the Railroad Fest 5K! (Who knew?)

While my husband and I spent an afternoon with our rebellious chocolate lab out at the park we also did a lot of relaxing at one of the piers on the lake! These piers are a perfect place to truly enjoy the lake, bring along a picnic or even sunbathe! Our dog, Maverick, had more fun than we did, even though he was a little disappointed he couldn't jump in and chase the ducks! If you like to be out in the sun relaxing you will love the beach and the piers. 

While exploring Lincoln Parish Park I also realized there are so many fascinating trees to learn about, yes there are more than just Pine Trees in the nature of North Louisiana! The park has an entire tree trail you can follow and read about all the different trees out at Lincoln Parish Park. We followed the trail and it was very, very cool! There are so many things to do and see at Lincoln Parish Park for all walks of people! Go camping (rough it with a tent or bring your RV!), fish out on the lake, cook with their grills and picnic tables, and of course explore, explore, explore! Head to Lincoln Parish Park - don't miss out on the hidden gem of #RustonLA!

Molly is a coffee addict and a self-proclaimed foodie. She loves running, traveling and college football. Molly is passionate for local charm and bringing others to love #RustonLA. Original native of Mississippi and a proud current resident of Ruston, LA! 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

6 Ways Ruston's Art Community is Thriving

Written by: Molly Coleman, Marketing Assistant

Located in the heart of North Louisiana is a small town filled with much culture! Ruston, LA has always been home to a very special and tight-knit arts community, but within the past year it has seen a lot of growth, and it's only going to continue to expand! Here are 6 ways the Ruston's arts and culture have made the community flourish! 

1. Downtown officially certified as a Historic District

On March 2, 2017 the City of Ruston announced that Downtown is now not only a Main Street Community and Cultural District, but is officially certified as a Historic District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places! During the process, Ruston learned it had 78 contributing buildings, and four of them individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places already – the Dixie Center for the Arts, the Federal Building, Ruston State Bank, and Ruston USO (now Hawkins Photography). 

What this means: Downtown Ruston is growing and being recognized for its significance in history, architecture, archaeology, and engineering. Through passion and hard work of residents, local business owners and city administration, Ruston's cultural community will continue to rise!

Photo by: Buie Photography 

2. Three murals planned and painted by local artists 

Ruston is creating a cultural statement by having local art portrayed in three murals throughout the city. The first of the three murals is almost complete and located in Downtown. This mural covers an entire wall with colorful shapes and the tagline “Ruston, Louisiana" and is located across from the Dixie Center for the Arts on the back of the
1938 Rainwater Building. It's bright geometric shapes are meant to be eye-catching with special images that characterize Ruston sketched within them, inspiring viewers to stop and take a closer look.

Photo via Instagram: @myumet

The second mural will represent Ruston’s close connection to the blind community by being displayed on the side of Louisiana’s Center for the Blind’s woodshop. This mural will also read “Ruston, Louisiana” with the addition of the words in giant braille painted beneath it. 

The third mural will illustrate the city's latest shared-use trail, Rock Island Greenway. This new trail is designed for walking, running, bicycling, and will include a linear park. The mural will be on the underpass that connects Woodard Ave. to the service road off I-20. Although this mural will be painted primarily by artists, there will also be community paint days so everyone can be a part of this art project! 

What this means: Ruston is continuously growing and striving to bring out and label the culture of the community. The mural project started when the city announced that Downtown Ruston was officially certified as a Historic District. These murals portray the personality of the community and will draw residents and visitors into Ruston. Plus, they create the perfect photo-opp! 

3. Public Art Project: Bulldog Statues 

Ruston established a Cultural Board to keep the arts alive. The Cultural Board has created a public art project that will help join the city and Louisiana Tech University through art. Ten large bulldog statues will be painted by local artist and strategically placed throughout the city. Ruston visitors (and locals!) can receive a “bulldog map” leading them to each sculpture. After their initial two years in the city, the bulldogs will be auctioned off to help provide additional funds for the Ruston Cultural District. If you would like to help move this project forward, vote for the video here! 

What this means: The unity of local art and Louisiana Tech's mascot will bridge the gap between the local university and residents. The bulldog statues will help provide inspiration for the future and leave a lasting mark on the community. This is the perfect public project for the Cultural Board to hit the ground running and keep the arts alive in Ruston!

4. NCLAC hosted Ruston's first indie film tour at The Dixie

This past year, North Central Louisiana Arts Council (NCLAC) partnered with South Arts to bring the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Film Makers to Ruston. Six independent films were shown at the historic Dixie Theatre - the first time Ruston has seen this style of art. Also, as part of the Southern Circuit Tour, each filmmaker came into Ruston offering question and answer sessions after the showing of their film.

Photo via Facebook: North Central Louisiana Arts Council 

What this means: NCLAC is continuously working to bring more than just one form of art into town! Throughout this tour, these indie films not only brought together the local film community, but brought in filmmakers from all over the country to experience Ruston. South Arts is returning for a second tour soon - stay tuned!

5. Ruston's first arts & music festival

On April 8, 2017, Ruston combined their love of the arts and music and hosted the first ever Railroad Festival! Every year, Ruston has a Makers Fair in the spring and fall that showcases artists and makers of all kinds from North Louisiana. This year, a celebration of Louisiana's music scene was added to the Spring Makers Fair creating Railroad Maker's & Music Festival! The first-ever Railroad Fest transformed Downtown Ruston with talented artists, tasty food & local brews, and a full line up of bands from all over the region. 

Photo by: Victoria Arnold Photography 

What this means: Ruston's arts and music community is getting stronger! This is the beginning of millennials in the area having an impact on the community by creating the kinds of events they enjoy. This festival showed community involvement combined with guests coming in town to visit, the festival producers plan to ride the "culture wave" and continue to grow Railroad Fest each year. 

 6.  The City of Ruston's Community Arts Center in the works

Ruston is currently in the process of transforming the old post office into the city's Community Arts Center. The Federal Building downtown will become the home of the arts. The City of Ruston was inspired by a painting gifted to Mayor Walker portraying the Federal Building on Vienna St. After the passing of the incredibly talented artist, 
Glenn Kennedy, the City wanted to incorporate the building into their Moving Ruston Forward plans. The Community Arts Center will serve as an office for NCLAC, an art gallery & shop, an exhibition space to be used for events, and much more! 

Photo by Peter Jones 

What this means: This transformation of the Federal Building is a great example of how much work and energy is put into the expansion of the arts. The City of Ruston and the art community are coming together to bring more talent and vision! 

Ruston and its 18-block historic downtown has always been very unique to locals and visitors from all over. It is truly a must experience part of the city, and now, it's thriving more than ever! Discover for yourself the excitement surrounding cultural projects, events and more at!

Molly is a coffee addict and a self-proclaimed foodie. She loves running, traveling and college football. Molly is passionate for local charm and bringing others to love #RustonLA. original native of Mississippi and a proud current resident of Ruston, LA! 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

New Festival in Ruston: Railroad Makers & Music Fest!

Information provided by Derek J. Amaya, Railroad Fest PR Director 

It's almost time for Ruston's newest arts & music festival! Be in Downtown Ruston Saturday, April 8 for live music and concerts, and hundreds of talented makers from all across the region! 

Railroad Makers & Music Festival is a celebration of Ruston's art and music scene. This year will be the festival's first year and it promises to create an experience that honors culture, celebrates the unique community and provides an welcoming atmosphere for families, groups and arts lovers of all kinds! 
"With the regional arts and music community beginning to develop and Millennials having a stronger impact on the community, now was the best time to get a cultural festival going in the region. But the plans do not stop here. With the help of the community and outsiders just visiting, festival producers plan to ride the culture wave and continue to grow the festival for years to come." - Derek J. Amaya, Railroad Fest Public Relations Director

Railroad Fest is comprised of two components: the Makers Fair and then music at Railroad Park. The Makers Fair portion of the festival will be held from 10AM-5PM in the Historic Fire Station and Sexton parking lots. This event is free to the public! Local makers and artists will be on site with works ranging from jewelry and woodwork to paintings and screen-printing, and so much more! 

Live music will run from 3-10PM in Railroad Park. $5 admission gets you access to all performances and a cash bar. Remember your ID for a wristband! 

The Seratones, Shreveport, LA
Music Lineup at Railroad Park
3PM - J.A.M Brass Band
4PM - Montague
5PM - GoofyBoots
6PM - Supernaturals
7:15PM - Headliners Louisiana Soul Revival ft. Doug Duffey
8:45PM: Headliners The Seratones 
Culinary Events
9AM-12PM - Brunch & zydeco music at Sundown Tavern
10AM-10PM - Food trucks across Downtown Ruston 
11AM - Crawfish boil at Ponchatoulas

Brews & Such
Flying Tiger Burma Blonde
Abita Strawberry
Sutter Home Wine Selection

Experience Downtown Ruston like you never have before! Be a part of Ruston's first-ever Railroad Fest on Saturday, April 8 and watch the culture shift in this region’s arts community. 

More activities include food trucks galore, a Kids' Zone in the courtyard of the Historic Fire Station, Schoolyard Art Brawl paint battle with local teachers, live painting of a new mural with artists Nicholas Bustamante and Whitney Causey. For all the details, check out the 2017 Railroad Fest Facebook event.

Follow the tracks
facebook @railroadfest
twitter @railroadfest
instagram @railroadfest 

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Day in Dubach

Written by Molly Coleman, Marketing Assistant 

Lincoln Parish has a hidden gem just 12 miles north of Ruston, this is a place where residents and business owners have great pride in their hometown and history. Spend a day in Dubach, Louisiana - a charming town filled with local character! There are some unique and exciting things, both old and new, going on in Dubach, all with a true love for this small town Louisiana community. 

Explore the Dog Trot Houses - Start your day off exploring the two historic and famous Dog Trot Houses! Dubach, LA has claimed the title of "Dog Trot Capital of the World." There are two historic dogtrot houses: the Dubach Dogtrot Welcome Center that was built in 1883 (later moved in 2006) and the Autrey House Museum built in 1849 (the oldest structure in Lincoln Parish). 

Dubach Dogtrot Welcome Center
Autrey House Museum 

The "dog trot" houses got their name because the dogs regularly “trotted” from one side of the house to the other through an open area or they had the option to enjoy the shade. Both of these houses are truly unique to the area and have an interesting history. As the story is told, Thomas Yancy Colvin built a dog trot house for his new bride as a wedding present upon her request, this house has been donated by the Colvin family and is now the welcome center. Very few of these homes remain today and we are lucky to have to such examples here in Lincoln Parish. 

Attend Big Creek Trade Days - Plan to attend Louisiana's newest indoor trade event. Big Creek Trade Days takes place the 2nd weekend of every month, Friday-Sunday. This sale barn and large flea market event was envisioned by 3 friends that felt the need to find a way to re-purpose an old poultry farm. 

Going out to these old farming facilities, shoppers will find over 100 vendors filled with booths of hand made items and one-of-a-kind antiques. Don't worry, Big Creek Trade Days is not only for the shoppers, it's for the whole family - there is also a "man cave" with big screen TV's, food vendors and jump houses and slides for the kids! 

Eat at Lillian Veau's - Enjoy local cuisine at Dubach's newest addition! Lilian Veau's Eatery offers a New Orleans style dining experience with local Cajun and traditional southern menu items right on Main Street! 

Hour of Operation:
Thursday - Friday:  11:00am - 9:00pm
Saturday: 5:00 pm - 9:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm

There is so much character in this restaurant and it all comes straight from the heart! The owner of Lillian Veau's says her dream of 32 years has come to life in Dubach, LA. The Restaurant is named after her grandmother, Lillian Veau, and all photos, paintings and decor are reflections of New Orleans and were taken and painted by the owner herself! 

Shop at Tatum's Department Store - One of Dubach, LA's oldest clothing stores on Main Street! Go shop at Tatum's on Main, here you will find everything a girl can ever need, the shelves are stocked with fashionable clothes, hang bags, accessories and more! 

This local clothing store is a stable in Dubach and a family tradition. The owner of Tatum's is carrying on her mother's love of small town shopping. Her mother ran this store for 62 years before she took over. You will receive a true passion for fashion here at Tatums! 

Head to Dubach, Louisiana and spend the day shopping, eating and exploring all it has to offer! 

Molly is a coffee addict and a self-proclaimed foodie. She loves running, traveling and college football. Molly is passionate for local charm and bringing others to love #RustonLA. original native of Mississippi and a proud current resident of Ruston, LA! Molly is a coffee 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

New Fishing Tournament: American Crappie Trail

Written by Molly Coleman, Marketing Assistant 

There is a new fishing tournament coming to town! Ruston & Lincoln Parish are pleased to welcome the American Crappie Trail to Lake D'Arbonne! We are excited to be partnering once again with Union Parish to bring the latest crappie fishing tournament to our area!

The American Crappie Trail was started by fisherman for the fisherman! Their main goal is to provide anglers the chance to participate and compete in premier crappie tournaments with the highest guaranteed payout in the industry. The American Crappie Trail has an innovative, fresh approach to the crappie fishing tournament scene. They aim to provide the level playing field to the industry that has never been seen before for elite and weekend anglers!  

This tournament and their knowledgeable staff will raise the bar in the crappie fishing industry! Not only will they have the highest payout, but all tournaments will be televised! They will be using state-of-the-art trailers and weigh-in stations - these full production live internet weigh-ins brings much excitement!

One of the owner's of the American Crappie Trail, Matt Morgan, is very excited about bringing the new tournament to Lake D'Arbonne: 

"D'Arbonne is one of the 6 Lakes I handpicked because of the phenomenal resources the lake has to offer in conjunction with the awesome people that live in the surrounding communities. ACT is extremely excited about the March 31-April 1 event where someone is going to win a brand new Ranger boat! Crappie Fishing is going to the next level with ACT!" - Matt Morgan, co-owner of American Crappie Trail

ACT is also excited to announce one of the most well known outdoors man in the business as the TV host for 2017! Sam Heaton has been around crappie fishing his whole life and he is exited for the American Crappie Trail to get started!

Registration & Location Information - Registration for the American Crappie Trail Tournament and the appropriate registration forms can be found here. The registration fee to participate in the tournament is $425.00 and the late fee is $25.00, this applies after the ten (10) day off limit period is in effect. Participants must be members to register, become a member and register here!

The American Crappie Trail will be March 31-April 1,2017 on Lake D'Arbonne in Farmerville, Louisiana. 

Payouts - Based on 100 boats:
1st place: Ranger Boat RT188C - No matter how many boats entered, this is always the 1st place prize! 
2nd Place: $8,000
3rd Place: $5,250
To see the rest of the ACT Payouts visit here!

ACT Pre-Tournament Events: 
Wednesday, March 29 Evening -  Meet the Pros & Crappie Seminar Night including Spider Rigging & Trolling, Jig Fishing and Crappie Fishing 101 in Downtown Ruston
Thursday , March 30 Morning Brunch & Media Day @ D'Arbonne Pointe in Farmerville 
Thursday, March 30 Evening Registration, Food & Seminar @ Lincoln Parish Library in Ruston 

Where to Stay in Ruston - Sponsor Hotels

Fairfield Inn & Suites 
Address: 1707 Roberta Ave, Ruston, LA 71270
Phone: (318) 251-9800
Comfort Inn
Address: 1951 North Service Rd E, Ruston, LA 71270
Phone: (318) 242-0070

Click here to see all Rules and Regulations. Also, for more information and the ACT's latest updates follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Molly is an original native of Mississippi and a proud current resident of Ruston, LA! Molly is a coffee addict and a self-proclaimed foodie. She loves running, traveling and college football. Molly is passionate for local charm and bringing others to love #RustonLA. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Alternative Eating in Ruston

Written by Payton Potter
Photos by Lexi Wyatt

A small town with big flavor, Ruston offers residents and passers-through a unique mix of restaurants that make this north Louisiana torn special. From cajun food to the homestyle cooking to barbecue to fresh juices, Ruston provides something for everyone. Heath-conscious eaters and those with dietary restrictions alike will find that Ruston has delicious dishes to meet his or her needs. 

Mandarin Spring Salad at +Portico | Ruston 

Strawberry spinach salad - Portico
Veggie Burger (no cheese) - Sundown Tavern
Tofu Avocado salad - Teriyaki Grill
Nutty Avocado - Roly Poly
Avocado, cashews, walnut pieces, dried cranberries, leaf lettuce, plum tomatoes, baby spinach, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, balsamic vinaigrette, whole wheat tortilla
Go Green Roll - Raw
Avocado, cucumber, asparagus, seaweed salad. topped with sesame seeds

California Hummer +Roly Poly Sandwiches 
California Hummer - Roly Poly
Hummus, provolone cheese, leaf lettuce, plum tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, carrots, green pepper, alfalfa sprouts, sesame dressing on a whole wheat tortilla
Loaded smoked sweet potato - Brister’s Smokehouse
brown sugar and cinnamon
Vegetarian Delight - Teriyaki Grill
Margherita Pizza - Newk's
Yogurt Parfait - Railway Coffee

Sizzling Fajitas at +Log Cabin Grill & Market 
Gluten Free
The Beau Vine - Beau Vines Steakhouse
Log Cabin Sizzling Fajitas - Log Cabin Grill & Market
Grilled Chicken Nachos - Sundown Tavern
Parillada Mexicana
Steak chicken, and shrimp cooked with tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers

Seafood Gumbo at +Ponchatoulas 

Jumbo Butterfly Shrimp - Log Cabin Grill & Market
Marinated, seasoned, mesquite-grilled and covered with bourbon barbecue sauce
Seafood Gumbo - Ponchatoulas
Gulf shrimp and blue crab in a dark roux sauce
Tuna Salad - Rosemary’s Kitchen
Nigiri selection - Raw
Shrimp In Grits - Portico
Fried asiago cheese grits, sautéed shrimp, mushroom and roasted red pepper cream sauce
Asian Ahi Tuna - Portico
Sesame seared ahi, spring mix, mandarin oranges, avocado, cucumber, tomato and soy-ginger vinaigrette

Payton Potter is a Louisiana Tech graduate from Farmersville, Texas. Follow him on Twitter @Payton_Tech!