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 www.experienceruston.com.

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." 

Local Seafood Favorites

Written by Amanda Quimby, Marketing Director

Ruston, LA is in no short supply of great seafood options. Whether you're looking for good old-fashioned fried catfish, an all-you-can-eat buffet, or something a little less battered and fried, this list of local seafood favorites has you covered. 

Shrimp & Grits from Rosemary's
Shrimp & Grits at Rosemary's Kitchen
Step into this local eatery and ask for their homemade version of this southern classic. Grilled shrimp piled on green chile, cheese grits and topped with a spicy tasso cream sauce. The menu changes daily; grab this tasty dish on Wednesdays!

Catfish Orleans at Scott's Catfish & Seafood
Quite possibly one of the tastiest things on the menu, Catfish Orleans is angel hair pasta topped with catfish and crawfish Orleans sauce. Also popular are the crab cakes and Scott's own seafood buffet. 

Fiery Fin at Portico
Fiery Fin at Portico Bar & Grill 
This popular handheld is made with Caribbean jerk grilled Mahi, , fresh cilantro aioli, and mango salsa served on a kaiser bun. We highly suggest ordering with a side of roasted asparagus or red onion rings!  

Salmon at Beau Vines Steakhouse 
In the mood for finer dining? Make dinner plans for the grilled salmon with a satsuma glaze. The restaurant highly recommends ordering with the grilled asparagus or steamed vegetables. Be sure to ask about their wine pairing or a signature cocktail.    

Catfish Plate at Sundown Tavern 
This dive is a local hot spot for many reasons. One is their surprisingly great seafood options that include tuna salads, oyster po-boys, and the popular catfish platter. Try these crispy catfish fillets are served with the fixings - fries, coleslaw, and hushpuppies. Locals will tell you no matter what you order, go enjoy it out on the patio!   

Lobster Ravioli from Roma
Photo credit: @mood_for_food
Lobster Raviolo at Roma Italian Bistro
This delectable dish is a must try at Roma. Four large lobster-stuffed raviolis served in their signature pink sauce. Even better - when in season, crawfish can be substituted for lobster!

Boiled Shrimp & Crab Legs at Flying Burger & Seafood
This restaurant may serve a tasty burger, but they're on this list for their delicious boiled shrimp and crab legs. Have the shrimp chilled an appetizer or steaming hot for your entree. Order the sweet and flaky snow crab legs by the pound and enjoy with corn on the cob and new potatoes.   

Fish of the Day at Log Cabin 
Log Cabin is known for having one of the most expansive menus in town. Grilled or blackened, you can't go wrong with the fish of the day. If you're lucky, it will be the redfish or salmon.

Crawfish Shirley from Ponchatoulas
Crawfish Shirley at Ponchatoulas
This entree is one of the most ordered in the restaurant. Crawfish tails are sauteed in butter and green onions with white wine and cheese cause then tossed in fettuccine pasta. 
Bonus - Ponchatoulas is also the best place in town to grab some fried oysters!  

All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet at Landry's Marketplace
No seafood list is complete without mention of a buffet. It's so good they have to limit the crowds to weekends only! Stop by Thursday-Sunday for an all you can eat seafood feast and for dessert, maybe the largest cinnamon roll you've ever seen.

Like what you see here? Go a little more adventurous and try these unique seafood eats! And be sure to share your photos using #RustonEats. Happy dining!

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." 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Salad Crawl through Ruston, LA

Hi, Heather đŸ‘‹
Written by Amanda Quimby, Marketing Director
Recommendations by Heather Bailey

Meet Heather Bailey, owner of Social Bites of Ruston. She spends her days in baking cupcakes, macarons, cookies, specialty cakes and more. You may be surprised to know Heather is also a salad enthusiast!

So you know where to get the sweets - Social Bites is located on Park Ave in beautiful, historic Downtown Ruston. But now Heather's going to show us where to get the healthier, but still extra tasty, stuff.

"Someone asked me where to get a good salad in Ruston," says Heather. "I had a lot of recommendations and mentioned I needed to compile a list and post it for people who don't know where to go. So here it is."

Log Cabin
Chef Salad - Ask for romaine lettuce. Any of their dressings are great, but the ranch is my favorite. I also ask for extra meat and half the lettuce, but that is my preference. Comes with cheddar cheese, eggs, tomato, green onions, croutons, ham, turkey and bacon.

Teriyaki Grill
Teriyaki Chicken Salad with Ginger Dressing- Comes with bell pepper and romaine lettuce.

Dawghouse Sports Grill
Teriyaki Chicken Salad with Mango Vinaigrette - This salad is another favorite right now. That mango vinaigrette is LIFE! Comes with pineapple, cheddar cheese, walnuts and mixed greens. 
Teriyaki Chicken Salad from Dawghouse

Dawghouse Sports Grill
Fried or Grilled Chicken Salad with either Thousand Island or Ranch - Comes with cheddar cheese, croutons, tomato and mixed greens.

Grilled Shrimp or Chicken Salad with Ranch - Comes with romaine lettuce. Also side note, this is not about salads, but they make tacos now and they are Baja style and AMAZING!

Roma Italian Bistro
Greek Salad with Chicken - My current addiction. Comes with romaine, tomatoes, mixed bell peppers, black olives, red onions and feta. Get the tomato basil vinaigrette (the most amazing salad dressing in the world.) 

Greek Salad from Roma
Strawberry Spinach Salad - Comes with baby spinach, fresh strawberries, feta, roasted pecans with a blush wine vinaigrette.

Newk's Eatery
Ultimate Salad - Sliced flame-grilled chicken breast, crumbled bacon, diced smoked ham, diced oven-roasted turkey, Arcadian mixed greens, sweet grape tomatoes, cucumbers, aged cheddar cheese, croutons and house-made honey mustard dressing.

Newk's Eatery
Favorite Salad - Sliced flame-grilled chicken breast, Arcadian mixed greens, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, sliced grapes, artichoke hearts, pecans, dried cranberries, croutons and house-made sherry vinaigrette.

Sundown Tavern
Grilled Chicken Salad with Ranch - Mixed greens topped with carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and shredded cheese. 

Grilled Chicken Salad from Sundown
Be sure to check out all the fresh #RustonEats listed here AND Heather's own salad creations! - That's right! Social Bites of Ruston is now serving up some tasty farm fresh salads for lunch! Because after all, we eat salads so we can eat sweets.

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." 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Fox Talks – Meal Steals for the College Student

Written by Fox Faircloth, Administrative Assistant 

If you were to spend any amount of time with me, you’d come to realize one thing very quickly – I appreciate good food, and I love to eat! Luckily, Ruston offers many local eateries that make this hobby of mine very easy to pursue.

In our Meal Steals post, we’re highlighting restaurants with big Louisiana flavors and Southern tastes. These Ruston hotspots give us students the opportunity to enjoy a night out with friends and family, without breaking the bank.

I highly encourage you to check out these local establishments. You won’t be disappointed, and you’re sure to see me there!  

Dawg House is a sports bar and grill that offers a diverse menu that’s sure to please! They provide students with two different meal deals. On Mondays, Dawg House offers all-you-can-eat boneless wings for just $15. On Tuesdays, all entrĂ©es are buy one, get one half-off. With so many delicious choices available, the Dawg House Sports Grill makes supporting our Ruston locals easy, affordable, and enjoyable!

Wings at Dawghouse
Two-for-one burgers are a Wednesday tradition for students in Ruston! The Portico Bar and Grill offers the Portico Burger, an Angus burger with fresh tomato, lettuce, red onion, pickle, mustard, and mayo atop a brioche bun – a local favorite. Customers are required to dine in and bring a burger buddy for this deal to apply, so grab a friend and bring them along on your next night out at the Portico Bar and Grill!

2-for1- burgers at Portico
On Tuesdays, we go to Scott’s! With their casual atmosphere and friendly staff, Scott’s Catfish of Ruston provides customers with a deal that can’t be beat – two burgers with any side for only $10. Their offer begins at 2 p.m. and goes until closing, allowing students to enjoy this meal for a late lunch, dinner, or any time in between.

Ponchatoulas is a Ruston staple that offers patrons budget-friendly choices through their weekly happy hour specials, a spread found on the late-night menu. With different deals every weeknight, the happy hour specials begin at 9 p.m. and end at 1:30 a.m. Whether you’re enjoying a $3 hand-battered pickle basket or the 2-for-1 cheese fries, you’re sure to enjoy these snacks that are as delicious as they are affordable.  

Cheese fries at Ponchatoulas

Tech Express/Tiger1 Card
Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to use your Tech Express or Tiger1 Card to enjoy all that Ruston has to offer! The following is a list of restaurants that cater to university students:

·         Brister’s Smokehouse BBQ
·         Cheeburger Cheeburger
·         China Wok
·         Cultured and Caffeinated
·         Eskamoe’s Frozen Custard & More
·         Flying Burger and Seafood
·         Log Cabin
·         Parish Press
·         Ponchatoulas
·         Portico
·         Rosemary’s Kitchen
·         Teriyaki Grill

For a more detailed list of restaurants, please check out the links below!
          Louisiana Tech University: https://goo.gl/uPVkos
          Grambling State University: https://goo.gl/LfjUhp

Let us know how you enjoy these local hotspots! Make sure to snap a picture and post it on social media with the hashtag #RustonEats. 

Fox is a Texas native who proudly claims Ruston, LA as her home. She is currently pursuing a degree in Business Management at Louisiana Tech University. Fox is an avid queso-eater and outdoor adventurer. As an administrative assistant for the CVB, she enjoys interacting with locals and visitors alike, all while sharing her love for #RustonLA. Fox oversees the CVB’s online calendar of events, visitor information and newsletter requests. She can be contacted for online event submissions.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fox Talks - Choosing Ruston & LA Tech

Written by Fox Faircloth, Administrative Assistant 

There is a familiar saying that states “home is where the heart is.” If this is so, then I have found my home here in Ruston, Louisiana.

My name is Fox Faircloth, and I was born and raised in a small town outside of Houston, Texas. I am entering my sophomore year at Louisiana Tech University and basing my studies in the College of Business. I am often asked how and why I chose this quaint Louisiana town as my sanctuary for the next four years — “Wow, you’re so far from home and your family! Wait, you spend your summers here, too?”

I don’t mind the inquiries. For me, the answers to these questions are quite simple.

I found myself in Ruston near the end of my junior year of high school, touring the Louisiana Tech campus over spring break. My first real impression of Ruston was given through my admissions recruiter for Tech, a woman named Leslie, who has become one of my dearest friends. Leslie embodies the kindness and hospitality that is common to the people of Ruston. Through her hard work and dedication, I absolutely fell in love with Louisiana Tech.

There was a deciding moment during my time touring Tech’s campus that proved to me the character of the university. While sitting in on a class in the College of Business, I received an upsetting phone call. After exiting the classroom, I found a stairwell in which to continue my conversation. The call ended poorly, and I stayed in the stairwell, attempting to collect myself. A student walked by, glancing in my direction. I averted my eyes, embarrassed. As I walked toward the exit door to meet Leslie for our next activity, it began pouring rain. Without an umbrella or rain jacket, I felt defeated.

A few minutes passed as I stared outside, wondering what to do. A truck pulled up to the curb outside and a student jumped out. He ran up the sidewalk and opened the door to the stairwell. I was surprised to see it was the student who had passed earlier and shocked when he turned and offered me an umbrella. As I took it he said, “You looked like you could use this,” turned around, and walked back into the rain.

I never got the opportunity to thank that student, and I never found out who it was. That small act of kindness was what sold me on Louisiana Tech. If Ruston was a place full of people like that, that was where I wanted to be.

I’m okay with being six hours from home because I have a support system here, built on the love of the Louisiana Tech family. I chose to be a part of this community because when I’m here, I feel like I’m home. I spend my summers in Ruston because any time I’m not, I’m wishing I was.

These people, and this town, have my heart. Never before have I experienced such kindness, or felt so welcomed, loved, and appreciated, by a group of strangers. I was incredibly blessed to join the team here at the CVB. I’ve been given the opportunity to express my love for Ruston with locals and visitors alike, sharing the joys of living in this small town I call home.

I’m writing here to share those joys with all of you. I hope that you will join me on this journey as I continue my time at Tech and in this wonderful little town of Ruston, Louisiana. I’d love if you would share this post with friends and family alike. Until next time, my friends!

Fox is a Texas native who proudly claims Ruston, LA as her home. She is currently pursuing a degree in Business Management at Louisiana Tech University. Fox is an avid queso-eater and outdoor adventurer. As an administrative assistant for the CVB, she enjoys interacting with locals and visitors alike, all while sharing her love for #RustonLA. Fox oversees the CVB’s online calendar of events, visitor information and newsletter requests. She can be contacted for online event submissions.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Eddie Robinson Classic!

Written by: Derek J. Amaya, Guest Blogger 

Photo via facebook.com/egrobinsonclassic

Former Grambling State University football coach Eddie G. Robinson embodies everything there is to know about North Louisiana football.

The late coach is one of the winningest head football coaches at all levels of football, but that is just a fraction of what he accomplished during his tenure at GSU. Robinson led countless football players, who may not have otherwise received the opportunity, to greatness whether it was on or off the field. He took hundreds, maybe even thousands of young boys from high school, and turned them men or even “gladiators” of the gridiron.

Photo via facebook.com/egrobinsonclassic

Robinson’s legacy and dream will be on full-display Saturday during the Eddie Robinson High School Football Classic jamboree Saturday at the newly renovated Eddie Robinson Stadium on GSU’s campus. The hometown Lincoln Preparatory School Panthers will look to kick things off with a bang against the Ferriday Trojans at 2 p.m. followed by Northwest Raiders against Rayville Hornets at 4 p.m., Calvary Baptist Cavaliers vs. Oak Grove Tigers at 6 p.m. and the nearby Union Parish Farmers will look to finish things off with West Ouachita Chiefs at 8 p.m.

Fans can purchase $10 all day access passes today by purchasing them form All Participating Schools or $15 day of the game at the Fred G. Hobdy Assembly Center on GSU campus. Hundreds of fans from across the area will flock to support their teams during a fun filled day in Grambling.

Photo via facebook.com/egrobinsonclassic

Included with the Classic will be an appearances from the High Stepping Hunington High School Marching Band and Louisiana All-Star Unity Band, a pregame promotion filled with Raising Canes prizes, an X-Treme PH Sports Waters Halftime Skill Challenge, a Youth Football Exhibition Game and a Post Game Trophies ceremony presented by #GotStrong
But for parents, guardians, fans or supporters coming in town for the jamboree games, one of the most important things to do is taking in everything GSU has to offer.

Robinson’s goal was to bring top tier athletes into one of the most prestigious Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the nation to give them an opportunity to succeed.

Robinson envisioned a thriving campus that found a balance toward academics and athletics, a vital part of student life. Having potential future Tigers on the campus Robinson helped build would make all the difference to his legacy.

Photo via Facebook.com/GramblingFootballFans/

Robinson would have loved watching hundreds of high school students walking on campus and then duking it out on the newly $2.5 million renovated stadium for a chance to show greatness.

That is was makes the Robinson Football Classic one of the best kick off high school athletics events in the state.

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.