Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Locals Love It: Sue Paperie

Written by Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant

Our "Locals Love It" blog series highlights Ruston businesses that have been identified by locals as places that go above and beyond to make a customer's experience truly exceptional. On this "Locals Love It" blog we're spotlighting Sue Paperie, a locally-owned paper store that has captured the heart of the Ruston community since it opened in February of 2015. 

Sue Paperie located in Downtown Ruston
Photo via

Locals Love the Charming Atmosphere
Sue Paperie is a charming little store located in Downtown Ruston and can be easily spotted by its fun, purple door. Inside, the store has an abundance of natural light, giving it an airy and bright feel. A huge bonus that locals love is the Bridal Loft located on the second story of the building. Brides can schedule an exclusive consultation with Sue Paperie's bridal coordinators and enjoy picking out their wedding stationary in this cozy loft! If you're planning a party or wedding, Sue Paperie is the place to come. 

The Bridal Loft at Sue Paperie
Photo via

Locals Love the Fun Merchandise
Sue Paperie specializes in invitations for all occasions, as well as personalized stationery, cards, gifts, and more. They carry a great selection of agendas, notebooks, notecards, stationary, bags, and other items from popular brands like Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Spade, and Jon Hart. Sue Paperie is your go-to stop for special occasion cards, personalized gifts, and custom-made invitations. 

Lilly Pulitzer merchandise available at Sue Paperie
Photo via

Jon Hart bags available at Sue Paperie
Photo via

Locals Love the Helpful Staff
"Fantastic group of ladies with excellent style and customer service!" - Sue Paperie customer

Perhaps one of the most loved things about Sue Paperie is the incredibly helpful and friendly staff. These ladies go above and beyond to make every customer's shopping experience fun and enjoyable. They will patiently sit and help you pick out invitations, assist you in choosing the perfect Mother's Day card, and give you suggestions for fun, personalized gifts. This staff is simply wonderful. 

Sue Paperie's staff
Photo via

Next time you're in Downtown Ruston, make sure you stop by Sue Paperie to check out their fantastic assortment of stationary, invitations, cards, gifts and more! Follow this local favorite on Facebook and Instagram to see more of their products. 

Tori is a proud Louisiana native and social media nerd. She has a passion for travel, food, and all things related to tourism promotions. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic, and lover of the outdoors. Still want to know more? Head over to her website 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Ruston Farmers Market Starts a Fresh Season

Written by Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant

The 9th Season of the Ruston Farmers Market kicked off on Saturday, May 7th with more than 20 local vendors. The Farmers Market is bigger and better this year with an all new location near Downtown Ruston! The Market is now located at 220 E. Mississippi Ave. in a covered, open-air building that is simply amazing.

Ruston Farmers Market's new location, 220 E. Mississippi Ave. 

The open-air building maintains the outdoors-market atmosphere, while providing more shade for vendors and shoppers alike. Not to mention, the building itself is a beautiful work of art with a large mural on the side, which was designed and painted by LA Tech Art students.

Start your Saturday morning at the Ruston Farmers Market with a breakfast taco from Tacos the Guero, or tomato chokha, potato chokha, and fried plantains from Chindian Flavors. Have a seat on the picnic tables in the covered area outside while you enjoy your fresh, local breakfast. Make sure you grab a cup of hot coffee or Nitro Cold Brew from Railway Coffee to sip on while you browse and shop at the Market. 

Railway Coffee and breakfast tacos from Tacos the Guero
Ruston Farmers Market

There is a fantastic, wide selection of fresh produce and locally-made goods at the Market this season. 

Fresh produce includes: tomatoes, squash, zucchini, turnips, new potatoes, herbs and herb plants, salad mix, steaming mix, Swiss chard, beets, carrots, and radishes. Fresh produce varies from week-to-week based on availability. 

Fresh produce at the Renner Gardens booth
Ruston Farmers Market

Locally-made foods and drinks include: locally-roasted coffee, organic juices, hand-crafted root beer, craft sodas, fresh breads, granola, gluten-free treats, homemade fudge, pies, cookies, muffins, dessert breads, cakes, organic vanilla extracts, sauces, salsas, jellies, specialty smoked and frozen meats, frozen casseroles, and canned items.

Other handmade items include: homemade dog treats, herbal salt and sugar scrubs, soaps, lotions, body spray, body scrubs, lip balms, bath bombs, toddler aprons, mixes, catalpa trees, hand-tied fishing jigs, hand-crafted cedar planters, bird feeders, and Juniper Bonsai trees in cedar planters.

Handmade soaps and more at the Blue Dawg Soaps booth
Ruston Farmer Market

Vendors include: Mack's Tomatoes and Produce, Aunt Sandi's Kitchen, Railway Coffee, Bennett Farms, Rosemary's Kitchen, Good's Fudge, Old Bottle Brewery, Anna Yak's Pie's, Wildthang Specialty Meats, Renner Gardens, OWL Center, Fuego Dulce, Joywalk Daylilly, Belle Vie Belle Maison, Jarrell's Specialty Foods, Viola's Kitchen Jubilee, Blue Dawg Soaps, Kacy's Vanilla Shots, Gene's Woodworks. Vendors might vary. 

You can also catch special booths and activities on some Saturdays, including music, kids art activities, and more.

Art activities provided by NCLAC
Ruston Farmers Market 

The Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 8am-12pm. Look for extra special festivities at their grand opening on June 4. Check the Ruston Farmers Market website and Facebook page weekly to see what's in store for that week's Farmers Market! 

Tori Ward is a proud Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport, La. She is a Louisiana State University alumna and has a passion for all things PR. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic and lover of the outdoors. She is currently attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a master’s degree in business administration. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Eddie G. Robinson Museum: Hidden Gem of North LA

Written by guest blogger Derek J. Amaya

Bronze statue of Coach Eddie G. Robinson
Photo: Derek J. Amaya
Eddie Robinson won 408 college football games in his 57-year career, giving him the second most victories in NCAA Division I football (behind Joe Paterno with 409).

Robinson’s commitment on and off the field resonates through the streets of Grambling, the halls of Grambling State University and the stands of the football stadium named after him. 

Not only did the legendary former GSU football head coach show greatness on the gridiron, he also had moves on the dance floor. Not many people knew this tidbit about Robinson until the 18,000-square foot Eddie G. Robinson Museum opened in 2010 on GSU’s campus.

Lincoln Parish’s hidden sportsman’s paradise gem honors all of the late coach’s accomplishments, from his early days as a college student, his start as a football coach and the passion he brought to his student athletes.

Without the best funds, equipment or resources, and during the heart of the Civil Rights Movement, Robinson dedicated his life to ensuring a brighter future for the thousands of young black players who played under him.

Robinson coached more than 200 American Football, Canadian Football and National Football League players, including the first black starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl — former Washington Redskins quarterback Doug Williams. He also coached four Pro Football Hall of Famers: the Kansas City Chiefs’ Buck Buchanan, the Green Bay Packers Willie Davis, the Oakland Raiders’ Willie Brown and the San Diego Chargers’ Charlie Joiner. The museum highlights these players along with a number of accomplishments his players achieved off the field.

The Pros Gallery at the Eddie G. Robinson Museum
Photo: Derek J. Amaya

Robinson served as the football coach from 1941-97, combing a record of 408-165-15.
Right off Interstate 20 at the entrance of GSU’s campus, the museum brings to life one of the greatest sports icons of all time.

When entering the museum, where you’re greeted by a bigger than life bronze statue of “Coach Rob,” the first thing to do is watch a 10-minute video on his life in the Locker Room Theater featuring lockers from the old GSU football stadium. The video features interviews, photos and highlights of GSU football games. 

After the video finishes, directly next to the theater, is the Pros Gallery, featuring jerseys of former GSU greats who made it to the big leagues. On the other side, kiddos can pretend to train for the upcoming football season with an interactive football practice camp facility. In between the GSU Pros Gallery and interactive training facility lies a hall filled with Robinson memorabilia and facts about “Coach Rob’s” coaching days.

Interactive training facility at the Eddie G. Robinson Museum
Photo: Derek J. Amaya
Finally, at the heart of the museum, an interactive timeline displays his life from his days as a farmer’s son to his retirement with a bronze statue erected at the center of it all. By the end of the tour, one will appreciate the love and dedication Robinson put toward his players and making them part of his family.

One of only two museums in the country dedicated to a single football coach’s accomplishments, the other being the Paul “Bear” Bryant museum on the campus of the University of Alabama, this museum is every sports fan’s dream.

Bring the children, invite some locals and take an hour out of the day to visit one of the best sports attractions, and leading attended state museum, in Lincoln Parish. The free museum is open from 10 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Parking is available on the West side of the building and behind the museum on College Street. 

For more information, visit the museum's website. 

Derek J. Amaya grew up a proud Southern gentleman in Metairie. He graduated from Louisiana Tech University and works for the Ruston Daily Leader. He loves the finer things like waiting for the Kansas City Southern train to pass when he has to be somewhere, Tech parking tickets and voicemails. Follow Derek on Twitter at @DerekAmaya or on Facebook.

What You Need to Know About Peach Festival 2016

2016 Louisiana Peach Festival design by Patrick Ferrell.
This year's theme is "A Peach of My Heart."
The 66th Annual Louisiana Peach Festival is right around the corner, and we're bringing you everything you need to know about attending this year's festival on June 24-25! Peach Festival weekend is packed full of fun events to appeal to people of all ages. Live music, food, children's activities, a peach cobbler eating contest and more exciting events are on the Peach Festival agenda this year! 

Traveling to Ruston for the festival?
If you're coming to the festival from out of town, you'll want to book a hotel room pretty soon (hotels fill up fast for this weekend)! We recommend booking a room at Hampton Inn, Sleep Inn & Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Comfort Inn, Days Inn, and Holiday Inn Express. All of these hotels are less than 10 minutes away from Downtown Ruston, where the festival takes place. 

Friday, June 24 
  • 8am: Kids' Fishing Tournament, Lincoln Parish Park 
    This fun tournament is open to kids ages 12 and under. Bring your own fishing pole; bait provided. No entry fee or pre-registration, just show up! 
  • 8am-5pm: Peach Art Exhibit, Ruston City Hall
    For more than 25 years the North Central Louisiana Arts Council (NCLAC) has organized an art competition and show with cash and ribbon awards, to coincide with the Louisiana Peach Festival in Ruston. The exhibit features children and adults, with artwork spanning 8 different categories. 
  • 5-10pm: The Peach Festival Opens, Downtown Ruston
    Starting at 5pm, come enjoy food vendors, rides, and more entertainment in the Railroad Park area. There will also be an ongoing 
    BMX & Skateboard Show, and visitors may bring their helmets to participate in demos. There will also be a mini ramp for the little daredevils.
  • 6pm: Tennis Tournament
    Once again, the festival tennis tournament will be played under the lights and not the hot sun! Women's doubles, men's doubles and mixed doubles. Matches start at 7pm on the Louisiana Tech home courts.
  • 6pm: Rodeo, Northern Louisiana Exhibition Center 
    Roping, riding, clowns and more rodeo fun will be happening Friday and Saturday night. 
    For more information call (318) 255-9377.
  • 6:30-7:30pm: W.A.I.L., Railroad Park Stage 
    When All is Lost (W.A.I.L.) 
    consists of 5 Central Louisiana guys. They deliver an authentic, polished rock and roll sound.
  • 8-10pm: The Chee-Weez, Railroad Park Stage
    The Chee-Weez are a 5 piece tribute/show band of unmatched proportions. They cover songs from the 70s, 80s, 90s and throw a few surprises in along the way. Their world-famous show brings crazy costumes, giant video walls, lasers and lights, and pyro effects! This show is sure to be an experience.
A variety of live music will be featured during the festival in Railroad Park
Photo by: Devin Dronett 
Saturday, June 25
  • 7am: Louisiana Peach Festival 5K and Fun Run/Walk
    Take an early morning run through part of Ruston and the Louisiana Tech campus. The run will start at the RHS football field. Registration forms can be found here.
  • 8am-5pm: Peach Art Exhibit, Ruston City Hall
    For more than 25 years the North Central Louisiana Arts Council (NCLAC) has organized an art competition and show with cash and ribbon awards, to coincide with the Louisiana Peach Festival in Ruston. The exhibit features children and adults, with artwork spanning 8 different categories.
  • 8am-5pm: Quilt & Fiber Art Show and Sale, The Fabric Shop
    Quilts, wall hangings, embroidered framed pictures, and many creative handmade fabric and fiber art accessories will be displayed, and many of these items will be for sale. A free piece of jewelry will be given to all adult ladies who view the Quilt & Fiber Art Show.
  • 8am-6pm: Beta Sigma Phi Arts & Crafts Show, Ruston Civic Center
    You'll find handmade items and various types of arts and crafts diaplayed inside and outside of the Civic Center.
  • Food vendors cook up some tasty festival foods
    Photo by Devin Dronett
    8am-10pm: The Peach Festival Opens, Downtown Ruston
    Starting at 8am, come enjoy food vendors, rides, and more entertainment in the Railroad Park area. There will also be an ongoing 
    BMX & Skateboard Show, and visitors may bring their helmets to participate in demos. There will also be a mini ramp for the little daredevils.
  • 9-11am: "A Peach of My Heart" Parade, Downtown Ruston
    Peach dignitaries, floats, cheerleaders, clowns, music, marching groups and more will lead a parade through Downtown Ruston. The parade will start at the Thomas Assembly Center. Click here for a map of the the parade route.
  • 9am-3pm: Antique Car Show, BancorpSouth Parking Lot 
    The Ruston Antique Car Club hosts this fun event showcasing old, classic cars.
  • 11am: Diaper Derby, Trinity Center (Trinity United Methodist Church)
    Babies crawl and toddlers toddle a pre-set distance against the clock
    . There are 4 categories for children ages 6 months to 24 months. Entry forms can be found here.
  • 11am-12:30pm - Roadhouse Band, Railroad Park Stage
    Come enjoy live music in Downtown Ruston
  • 11am-4pm: Dinosaurs, Ruston Civic Center
    After the parade, life-like Dinosaurs will be roaming around! Bring the kids to pet and interact with them.
  • 11am-5pm: Kids Activity Tent, Downtown Ruston
    There will be plenty to keep the little ones happy in the kids tent filled with lots of activities from The IDEA Place, North Central LA Arts Council (NCLAC), LSU Ag Center/4-H, and Lincoln Parish Library. Additional activities include: a performance by U.P.H.Y. (United Positive Humble Youth) Step Team, the Junior Auxiliary Puppet Show, and a book signing and reading of “Born to Be a Bulldog” by Author Amanda Cauley. There will also be a juggler, a hula hooper and a stilt walker.
  • 1-3pm: Zach O'Neil, Railroad Park Stage 
    Come enjoy live country music in Downtown Ruston.
  • 2pm: Russ-Town Band Concert, Dixie Center for the Arts
    The Russ-Town Band will once again perform selections of Americana/Patriotic Music during the Louisiana Peach Festival. The concert is free to the public.
  • 4-9pm: Dinosaurs, Railroad Park
    Dinosaurs will again be in Downtown Ruston during the evening! Bring the kids to pet and interact with these life-like dinosaurs! 
  • 5 pm: Drawing for Peach Stops Game, Railroad Park 
    Participants do not need to be present to win. 
  • 5:30-7pm:  LA Swamp Donkey, Railroad Park Stage
    Come enjoy some live "Southern Fried Rockin' Country" music in Downtown Ruston.
  • 6pm: Rodeo, Northern Louisiana Exhibition Center 
    Roping, riding, clowns and more rodeo fun will continue Saturday night. 
    For more information call (318) 255-9377.
  • 7pm: Cobbler Gobbler Peach Cobbler Eating Contest, Downtown Ruston
    In honor of being named the Guinness World Record holder for the Largest Peach Cobbler, Hampton Inn will sponsor a peach cobbler eating contest, which is taking the place of the traditional peach eating contest. Not only will the winner receive the Cobbler Gobbler Championship Belt, but $1,000 is at stake! Only 10 contestants will be selected to participate, and contestants must pre-register. To enter, email Brandon Sutherland at and write Cobbler Gobbler in the subject line. Watch the video challenge here!
  • 8pm: Bass Tournament, Lake D’Arbonne
    The tournament begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday and ends at 7 a.m. on Sunday.
     For more information call Mark Brasher (318) 245-2882.
  • 8-10pm: Dylan Scott, Railroad Park Stage
    Dylan Scott is a current country music artists with a long list of  hits, including Crazy Over Me, Lay It On Me, Mmm Mmm Mmm, and Thinking Out Loud. Making This Boy Go Crazy has sold in excess of 130,000 units with well over 2.5 millions views of the accompanying music video. Don't miss him this year at the Louisiana Peach Festival. 

Free for children 6 and under 
$10 Friday one-day pass
$10 Saturday one-day pass
$15 Weekend pass
Passes include concerts, Kids Zone, Skateboard Show, and more. 

Food vendors will accept cash, some will accept debit/credit. 
Pets other than service dogs are not allowed at the festival.

For more information on the 2016 Louisiana Peach Festival visit or call 1-800-392-9032.