Monday, November 28, 2016

Tori’s Travels: Saying Goodbye

Dear Ruston,

Even though I’ve only called you home for the last year and a half of my life, I feel like I’ve been part of your community for years. I can’t express how thankful I am that you welcomed me with open arms when I moved here last summer.

Coming from a larger city, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect of this “small town.” But after a short time here, I realized that you are the epitome of a charming, Southern college town. In just a few days, I’ll be packing up my car and heading off to my next adventure; however, your unique charm and spirit will stay with me long after I leave.

As I prepare to move, I can’t help but think back on all the fun memories I’ve made in my time here. I’ve cheered on the Bulldogs at the Joe, enjoyed countless meals on the Sundown patio, and spent numerous afternoons soaking up the sun in Lincoln Parish Park. I’ve sung along to live music at The Revelry, eaten my weight in peach ice cream at Mitcham’s, and walked the charming streets of Downtown Ruston more times than I can count. These experiences and so many more have made this past year one of the best and most fun years of my life. 

Thanks for all the memories, Ruston!

If the priceless memories weren’t enough, you also provided me with the most amazing people to call neighbors, colleagues, mentors, and friends. I have truly never met more warm or welcoming people than Rustonites. I’m pretty much convinced there’s something in the peaches that makes your people just downright pleasant. To everyone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in my time here, thank you for your kindness and hospitality.

More than anything, I just want to say thank you, Ruston. Thank you for being calm, yet exciting. Thank you for all the breathtaking sunsets and starry nights. Thank you for the food, music, and art that give this town its incredible and unique culture. Above all else, thank you for giving me a year and a half of my life that I will truly never forget. I’ll be seeing you soon!


Tori Ward 

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.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Experience Ruston's Holiday Arts Tour

Written by Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant 

Ruston's holiday festivities will be kicking off this year on the first weekend of December, with the always-popular Holiday Arts Tour taking place on December 2-3 in Downtown Ruston! Holiday Arts Tour is one of Ruston's most beloved and celebrated holiday events. Named one of the STS Top 20 Events in December by Southeast Tourism Society, this unique holiday art crawl is a must-attend event in Ruston, La. 

Holiday Arts Tour is a great event for the entire family

Holiday Arts Tour spotlights Ruston’s art community by showcasing artists and their works in 30 local shops, restaurants, and other various businesses. Hosted by the North Central Louisiana Arts Council (NCLAC), this two-day event also features artists’ demonstrations, children's art activities, and live musical and theatrical performances. With more than 1,000 people in attendance in 2015, the event only continues to grow and bring together the arts and the local business community. 

“We love offering Holiday Arts Tour to our region each year, and are excited for more people to come experience the talented artists in North Louisiana,” 
said Jessica Slaughter, Executive of the North Central Louisiana Arts Council.  

Live theatrical performances in Downtown Ruston during Holiday Arts Tour

On Friday from 5-9pm and on Saturday from 10am-5pm, visual artists will be in the stores to meet shoppers. Additional exciting elements for the weekend include Sprout Hour for children, an Art Battle at Railroad Park, performing artists on both evenings, and demonstrations by artists. The full schedule of events is featured below and can also be found here

Holiday Arts Tour 2016 schedule 

We hope to see you in Downtown Ruston on the first weekend of December for the Holiday Arts Tour and more exciting holiday events! For more info on Holiday Arts Tour, visit, and for more info on Ruston's holiday events click here

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Holiday Events in Ruston, LA

Click here for 2017 holiday events!

Written by Amanda Quimby, Marketing Director 

We're excited about this year's holiday calendar! Ruston, LA has events happening all season long to keep you in the Christmas spirit. Experience abundant shopping opportunities, ice skating in Downtown Ruston, drive-thru Christmas lights and so much more!    

Nov. 10-12 - Holidays in CedarTown
Christmas shopping gets kicked off with North Louisiana’s premier holiday shopping market! Knock out your gift list or pick up some decorations for the home. Special events include a Brunch Blitz, Holiday After Hours, Jingles and Jammies. 
Ruston Civic Center | Ticket & admission prices vary

Nov. 17-19 - “Shop for Good” Downtown Christmas Open House
In the spirit of giving, downtown merchants have gathered together again this year to support local nonprofit organizations! During this time you can take advantage of extended shopping hours and seasonal sales with a portion of the proceeds going to a charitable cause.   
Downtown Ruston | 5-8PM

Nov. 25-27 - Big Creek Trade Days
Check out this marketplace for unique gifts! Event features hundreds of vendors in one location, and even a “man cave” for the gentlemen to relax while their ladies browse. $5 for parking.
Dubach | 9AM-4PM

Nov. 26 - Shop Small in Ruston
Don’t forgot to shop small this holiday season! Small Business Saturday beginning at 10AM, the CVB will be in Downtown Ruston with coffee and breakfast snacks and giving away Shop Small tote bags to the first 200 customers! Supplies are limited so get shopping early!
Downtown Ruston | Business hours vary

Dec. 1 - Kickoff to Christmas
Watch as Downtown Ruston comes alive with the sights and sounds of Christmas! The lighting ceremony will be at 6PM sharp then stick around for music, festivities, late shopping hours and ice skating!
Downtown Ruston | 6-8PM

Dec. 1-3 - Lincoln Lights Up the Pines
You won’t want to miss Ruston’s premier drive-thru Christmas lights display though beautiful Lincoln Parish Park! This year is certain to be bigger and better than the last with hundreds of new lights!
Lincoln Parish Park | 5:30-8:30PM

Dec. 1-4 - “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Relive this holiday classic! Ruston Community Theatre tells the story of George Bailey, a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman, being shown by an angel what life would have been like had he never existed. Tickets can be purchased at the Dixie box office - $12 for adults, $6 for students. 
Dixie Center for the Arts | 7PM Thurs-Sat, 2PM Sunday

Dec. 2-3 - Holiday Arts Tour
This holiday art crawl features unique shopping opportunities, live music, street theatre, children’s activities, demonstrations and more! Get out and celebrate the arts and shopping local in Downtown Ruston!
Downtown Ruston | Fri 5-9PM, Sat 10AM-5PM

Dec. 1, 3, 10 & 17 - Santa in Downtown Ruston
Don’t forget to tell Santa what you want this year! Santa will be at the skating rink located in the Historic Fire Station parking lot during Ruston’s Kickoff to Christmas on Dec. 1 from 6-9PM and every Saturday before Christmas Eve!
Downtown Ruston | 10AM-2PM  

Dec. 1-30 - Ice Skating in Downtown Ruston
Ice skating is back! What better way to enjoy the season and Downtown Ruston than skating in Ruston’s own artificial ice rink! The rink will be located in the parking lot of the Historic Fire Station. Sessions are 45 minutes and costs $10 per person.
Downtown Ruston | Mon-Fri 4-9PM, Sat 10AM-9PM, Sun 1-9PM

Dec 5-17 - 12 Days of Christmas Shopping
Shop local this holiday season for chances to win cash prizes and more! Stop by the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce or any participating retailers to pick up your shopping passport. Fill up the passport to win prizes!

Dec. 6-31 - Bank of Ruston Holiday Art Exhibit
Stop by to enjoy works from the A Sense of Place: Contemporary Images of Lincoln Parish at Bank of Ruston’s 13 Annual Holiday Art Exhibit. Exhibit kicks off with an open reception Tuesday, Dec. 6 from 5-7PM, and the photographs will be on display throughout the month during regular business hours.
Bank of Ruston | Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM

Dec. 8 - Ruston Christmas Parade
Another event you won’t want to miss – the annual Christmas parade! This year’s theme is White Christmas. Bundle up and bring the family out to enjoy the festive floats, beautiful lights, and of course, candy for all! Parade starts at the Thomas Assembly Center and runs through Downtown Ruston.
TAC - Downtown Ruston | 6PM

Dec. 9 - Winterfest
Come out to Railroad Park to hear area school choirs sing Christmas carols for the community! Concert is free and open to the public!
Downtown Ruston | 6PM

Dec. 9-11 - Big Creek Trade Days
It's your last chance to shop this marketplace for Christmas gifts! Find unique items for friends and family or a few goodies for yourself! $5 for parking.
Dubach | 9AM-4PM

Dec. 15-17 - Live Nativity at Emmanuel Baptist Church
Take a step back in time with Emmanuel Baptist Church's live nativity! Scene will be held at the Family Life
Emmanuel Baptist Church | 7PM

Dec. 16 - Russ-Town Band Christmas Concert
Certain to boost your holiday spirit is the Russ-Town Band performing your favorite Christmas tunes on the Dixie stage! Admission is a nonperishable food item or a toy donation for Toys for Tots!
Dixie Center for the Arts | 7PM

Dec. 17 - Cookies with Mrs. Clause

Come join the fun and decorate cookies with Mrs. Clause! Little one will also have a chance to visit with Santa and receive a photo! $25 per child, proceeds benefit Samaritan's Purse.
Social Bites of Ruston | 10AM &11:30AM

Dec. 17 - Dixie Dancers Christmas Program
Watch as the always-delightful Dixie Dancers take the stage for their annual Christmas performance! This event is open to the public with donations for the Dixie Center for the Arts accepted.
Dixie Center for the Arts | 7PM

For more information on these events and more, 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. Follow her on Instagam to see mostly pics of food, wine and inspirational quotes. 

“Be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do.”