Monday, January 15, 2018

Louisiana Tech University College of Education Wins Hospitality Award

The Ruston Lincoln Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to announce the 2017 recipient of the Lincoln Parish Hospitality Award is the Louisiana Tech University College of Education. The College of Education made noteworthy contributions to the tourism economy of Lincoln Parish in Spring 2017 by hosting the National Field Experience Conference (NFEC) and the Louisiana Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting. These events showcased Ruston & Lincoln Parish to educators, students, and parents from across the United States. Throughout 2017, the College of Education has also held many seminars, training programs, and competitions that put Ruston on display for visitors from across the country.

“I’m so pleased to have the Louisiana Tech University College of Education honored with this award,” says Travis Napper, CVB President/CEO. “Over the past year, the College of Education was a true example of how working with our local universities can put our destination on display to visitors from all over.”

The impact of these events was felt not only by hotels and on campus, but across the city as well. Local shops, restaurants, and attractions were included on itineraries for conference and meeting attendees. “Hosting these types of meetings is a great opportunity because it benefits the university, its faculty and staff, and also provides a chance to showcase Louisiana’s College Town,” continues Napper.

“I’m very appreciative and excited about the College receiving this award,” says Don Schillinger, Dean of the College of Education. “We’re honored to be recognized, but thankful for the opportunity to work closely with the Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Ruston to host unique and exciting events and experiences including conferences, teacher trainings, meetings, and special events that bring individuals from across the country to our gem of a town. We’re grateful for all the Ruston Street shops and restaurant owners for their amazing support of our visitors. Due to College of Education conferences and events over the past year, Lincoln Parish and the City of Ruston hosted visitors from over 35 states and Canada. Those visitors continue to speak fondly of the hospitality of our community.” 
The Lincoln Parish Hospitality Award began in 1999 to reward and recognize members of the community who provided a significant benefit to the tourism economy of Lincoln Parish during the past year. This award will be presented to Dr. Don Schillinger and Dr. Amy Vessel representing the College of Education at the Ruston Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet on Jan. 16 at the Ruston Civic Center.

About the Ruston Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Ruston Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau is a destination marketing organization that works to create, preserve and enhance a variety of quality visitor experiences through the promotion Lincoln Parish. For more information, visit


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Mardi Gras Events in Ruston

Carnival season is here, and Ruston is preparing to laissez les bon temps roulerEveryone knows Louisiana does Mardi Gras best, and now you have two ways to celebrate the season in Ruston, LA!

1. Krewe of Allegro Mardi Gras Ball - Saturday, Feb. 3
Known by many as the social event of the season, the Krewe of Allegro Mardi Gras Ball is not to be missed by anyone who takes pleasure in a fine evening out with dinner, dancing, and celebrating the arts culture of the area! Party with the Krewe of Allegro royal court. Dance the night away with music from the live band. Enjoy Louisiana-inspired cuisine, cash bar, and the evening's signature cocktail - the Allegro. Guests also have the opportunity to take part in a silent auction with original artwork, fine jewelry, tickets to popular community events, and more! Proceeds from the night benefit the historic Dixie Theatre and the North Central Louisiana Arts Council. Click here for more info.

2017 Krewe of Allegro Royal Court

2. Mardi Gras Parade & Festival - Saturday, Feb. 10
Mardi Gras festivities continue in Ruston's downtown district with a festival and parade! "Jazzin' it up" in Railroad Park is a Mardi Gras marketplace with food trucks, live music local vendors, activities for the kids, and more! Bring the family out to celebrate then stick around for Ruston's own Mardi Gras parade rolling through at 6 p.m. True to tradition, you'll see beautifully decorated floats throwing out beads, candy, and prizes! Click here for more information, including the parade route. Proceeds from the event go towards Junior Auxillary of Ruston.

Whether you're bringing the entire family out for Mardi Gras fun or looking forward to a formal evening out, start your weekend plans by visiting

Full-time destination marketer, part-time gardener. Amanda has a love for travel and tourism, event planning and showcasing #RustonLA. She's also very serious about coffee, cocktails, and true crime novels. Amanda implements the marketing, advertising and public relations plans for the CVB. 

"Be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do." 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Staying Healthy in Ruston, LA

The start of the new year often brings a long list of resolutions for most. Get organized, travel more, pay off debt, learn a new skill... The list can be endless. One of the most common resolutions out there is to commit to a healthier lifestyle - eat better, buy smarter, and exercise more. Staying the course is often difficult, especially when traveling.  

With so many dining options here in Ruston, we understand how tempting it can be to lose sight of your resolution to be more health conscious. If you're serious about keeping this resolution, here are just a few local spots that might make sticking to your health goals a little easier this year.

Fresh produce at Gibson's Natural Grocer

Quick meals and snacks available

Gibson's Natural Grocer
This grocery is a perfect spot to find all the essentials to healthy eating and living. With an incredible selection of fresh produce, as well as aisles upon aisles of dry goods, Gibson's is a great place to visit and stock up on the right foods. If you're a snack lover, pick from dozens of healthy snacks, drinks, and quick meals that are perfect for "on the go."

Gibson's offers supplements to help maintain your body's overall health. Plus, the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Seek out the help of Gibson's employees if you have questions, concerns or need advice on products. Gibson's also works hard to bring health information and advice to the community. Check out their website for upcoming events, info on popular diets, recipes, and more.

Better Living Market

Produce and dry goods available

Better Living Market
Better Living Market has made a great impact on the Lincoln Parish community. With a focus on all-around healthy living, this market is a wonderful place to visit for fresh produce, local meat, dry and refrigerated goods, and many more items to get you on track to a healthier life. 

Aside from carrying produce and healthy food items, they also have a wide selection of supplements, essential oils, medicinal teas, books, and cosmetics to help you maintain overall health. Better Living also supports other local businesses by carrying locally-made honey, soaps, and candles.  

Need some advice on starting your journey to health? Better Living has an in-house nutritionist who is more than happy to answer questions and give advice. Next time you're in the area, stop by and let the incredible staff suggest some healthy options that are right for you!

Rosemary's Kitchen

Tacos made with fresh produce and local beef

Rosemary’s Kitchen is not your typical eatery. Along with a menu that changes weekly, they offer a grocery area stocked with organic and local items, as well as housemade herbal teas. While Rosemary's typically offers a mix of hearty and lighter dishes, the kitchen focuses on fresh and healthy meals. Some recurring favorites are the sweet potato & black bean quesadilla, Greek quiche, along with various grilled paninis and their homemade soups.

Rosemary’s Kitchen prides itself on the use of fresh ingredients, and you can tell just by looking at the food how fresh all of the ingredients are. They also use local milk, meat, and other products whenever possible. Find their "simply fresh" menu on their website.

As we mentioned before, Rosemary’s Kitchen has a great little grocery located inside the restaurant that has tons of local goodies as well as a cooler stocked with homemade items, to-go meals and more. They also carry various organic brands and items in their grocery. If you're looking for a fresh and delicious lunch, a healthy meal to-go or a light snack, visit Rosemary's Kitchen on Bonner Street near Ruston's downtown district. 

Teriyaki chicken with rice and steamed vegetables

Fresh sushi available

Teriyaki Grill
Former NBA star Karl Malone brought health-conscious franchise Teriyaki Grill to the area promising to "feed your inner athlete." Teriyaki Grill is a guilt-free dining option for those wanting to be more mindful of their eating habits, especially in these fast-paced, drive-thru times. Teriyaki Grill is dedicated to serving their customers delicious dishes made with only the freshest ingredients, all while promoting active lifestyles. Stop by for lunch or dinner for a menu offering freshly grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, and salmon marinated in their signature teriyaki sauce and served over steamed rice, brown rice, or noodles.

If you're looking for something a little lighter, Teriyaki Grill offers a selection of salads and sushi rolls, made from scratch daily. Vegetarian options include flavorful dishes like tofu avocado salad and the veggie delight noodle bowl. See more on their website, and visit their location in North Village Plaza in Ruston.

We hope you find these suggestions helpful as you stick to your health goals in the new year. If you have any questions about these healthy hot spots or any other local places in Ruston, comment and let us know! 

Full-time destination marketer, part-time gardener. Amanda has a love for travel and tourism, event planning and showcasing #RustonLA. She's also very serious about coffee, cocktails, and true crime novels. Amanda implements the marketing, advertising and public relations plans for the CVB. 

"Be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do." 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

2017 Holiday Events in Ruston, LA

Written by Amanda Quimby, Marketing Director

Ruston, LA has events happening all season long to keep you and yours in the holiday spirit! See the list below for abundant shopping opportunities, ice skating in Downtown Ruston, drive-thru Christmas lights, and so much more!


Nov. 9-11 Holidays in CedarTown
Kicking off holiday shopping is Ruston's premier shopping market! Knock out your gift list early with items from the area's favorite vendors!
Ruston Civic Center | Times and admission prices vary

Nov. 13-18 Shop for Good
Shop Downtown Ruston this week to learn more about local service organizations! At the end of the week, merchants donate a portion of sales to their selected non-profit!
Downtown Ruston | Times vary by location

Shop extended hours in Downtown Ruston! Main Street merchants will host special events and receptions, offer holiday sales and more!
Downtown Ruston | 6 p.m. 

Nov. 25 Small Business Saturday
Remember to shop small this holiday season! Select downtown merchants will be opening early as a part of Loyal Blue Weekend. See a complete list of shopping options here

Nov. 30-Dec. 2 Lincoln Lights Up the Pines
You won't want to miss Ruston's own drive-thru Christmas lights display through beautiful Lincoln Parish Park!
Lincoln Parish Park | 5:30 p.m.

Watch as prosperous curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future in the holiday classic!
Dixie Center for the Arts | 7 p.m. Thurs-Sat; 2 p.m. Sunday

Watch as Downtown Ruston comes to life with the sights and sounds of Christmas! Lighting ceremony begins at 6 p.m., followed by holiday festivities for the family!
Downtown Ruston | 6 p.m.

This holiday art crawl features unique shopping opportunities from local and regional artists, live music, demos, children's activities, and so much more!
Downtown Ruston | 5 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. Sunday

Dec. 1-15 12 Days of Christmas Shopping
Shop select Ruston merchants this holiday season for a chance to win cash, prizes, and more! Stop by the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce for your shopping passport.
Participating merchants | Times vary by location

Dec. 1-31 Ice Skating
Ruston's ice skating returns to Downtown Ruston! The rink will be open every weekend in December. Skating sessions are 45 minutes; $10 per person.
Historic Fire Station | Times vary by day

Dec. 1-31 Bank of Ruston Holiday Art Exhibit
Stop by Bank of Ruston's "Mapping Out a Future for the Arts" exhibit featuring original works of art that incorporate maps found in Ruston's historic Federal Building.
Bank of Ruston | Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Dec. 2 Christmas in Dubach
Celebrate Christmas in Dubach, LA with shopping opportunities, a parade, activities for the family, and more!
Scott Hamilton Warehouse | 9 a.m.

Take this last opportunity to shop this marketplace for Christmas gifts. Find unique items for friends and family like handmade items, jewelry and accessories, clothing, and more!
Dubach, LA | Fri-Sat 9 a.m.; 10 a.m. Sunday

Bundle up and bring the family out to see "A Magical Christmas" parade rolling through Downtown Ruston with festive floats, beautiful lights, and candy for all!
Downtown Ruston | 4 p.m.

Following the annual Christmas parade will be a cookoff featuring teams battling for the best chili and coveted prize paddle!
Railroad Park | Sampling begins immediately after the parade

This hilarious two-man sequel to "Greater Tuna" tells the story of Christmas in the third smallest town in Texas.
The Norton Building | 7 p.m.

Come out and celebrate the season as Lawrence Gibbs and the Russ-Town Band jingle-bell rock the Dixie stage with holiday classics!
Dixie Center for the Arts | 7 p.m.

For more information on these and other events, visit

Full-time destination marketer, part-time gardener. Amanda has a love for travel and tourism, event planning and showcasing #RustonLA. She's also very serious about coffee, cocktails, true crime novels and The Walking Dead. Amanda implements the sales, marketing, advertising and public relations plans for the CVB. 

"Be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do." 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Unique Eats: Seafood

Written by Amanda Quimby, Marketing Director

Dining out can be an experience all its own, especially when you get to enjoy unique menu items and twists on traditional favorites. Check out this list of ten dishes you may not be able to find anywhere else than Ruston, LA! 

Shrimp in Grits at Portico

Shrimp IN Grits at Portico Bar & Grill
This twist on the southern favorite is a must-try! Asiago cheese grits and sauteed shrimp are fried into balls and covered with a mushroom and roasted red pepper cream sauce

Shrimp Corn Dogs at Portico Bar & Grill
Corn dogs are for kids? No way! Try these large shrimp dipped in Portico's homemade batter, deep fried, and served with remoulade sauce. Share as an appetizer or enjoy all to yourself!

Stuffed Catfish at Ponchatoulas

Stuffed Catfish at Ponchatoulas
Ponchatoulas has taken traditional fried catfish to another level with this popular dish. Hand-battered catfish fillets are loaded with their homemade crawfish stuffing, covered in crawfish etouffee, and served alongside hushpuppies and homemade onion rings. 

Catfish Louisianne at Scott's Catfish & Seafood
Another spin on the fried catfish dish is Scott's Catfish Louisianne - tender catfish fillets served over a bed of dirty rice topped with shrimp etouffee.

Blackened Alligator at Beau Vines Steakhouse
Now here's a dish you can't get just anywhere in Ruston - blackened alligator. Louisiana alligator is seasoned with Beau Vines' house blend of Cajun spices and served with Creole butter. Try it grilled, fried or stuffed inside a po-boy!

Selection of Sushi at Raw
Photo credit: @nommingthroughthesouth

Baked Salmon at Raw Restaurant
No list of unique seafood items can overlook Ruston's most popular sushi restaurant. This small plate at Raw is made up of baked salmon and crabmix topped with eel sauce, masago, green onions, and sesame seed. 

The Ruston Roll at Raw Restaurant
You can't go wrong with a roll named after the city itself! Tuna lovers will enjoy this spicy tuna and shrimp tempura roll topped more fresh tuna, fried onions, and eel sauce. But don't stop here; the chef's specials never disappoint.   

Crawfish Bread at Dawg House

Crawfish Bread at Dawg House Sports Grill
How do you put into words how delectable this app from Dawg House is? This savory French bread covered in Dawg House's house-made etouffee and topped with Monterey jack cheese will have you skipping your entree altogether. 

Camarones Diablo at La Bamba

Camarones Diablo at La Bamba 
La Bamba is known for delicious Mexican cuisine AND for going off-the-menu to provide customers with an authentic dining experience. Ask for the camarones diablo - fresh jumbo shrimp, grilled, smothered in their signature diablo sauce, and served with queso rice and the works!

The Lillian at Lillian Veau's
This eatery is located right outside of Ruston in Dubach, LA. They serve up tasty southern and Creole dishes, but a must-try is The Lillian - a fish fillet, fried golden brown, and topped with rice pilaf and homemade shrimp Creole. 

In the mood for some familiar favorites? Check out this list of 10 popular seafood dishes in Ruston! And be sure to share your photos using #RustonEats.

Full-time destination marketer, part-time gardener. Amanda has a love for travel and tourism, event planning and showcasing #RustonLA. She's also very serious about coffee, cocktails, true crime novels and The Walking Dead. Amanda implements the sales, marketing, advertising and public relations plans for the CVB. 

"Be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do."