Monday, January 30, 2017

Mardi Gras in Ruston, LA!

Written by Amanda Quimby, Marketing Director 

#RustonLA is gearing up for the 2017 Krewe of Allegro Mardi Gras Ball! This is Ruston's premier Mardi Gras event and has become the social event of the season! Come out and celebrate Saturday, February 18 at the Ruston Civic Center!

There are some new and exciting things in store for this year’s event - Attendees can enjoy a cocktail hour beginning at 7PM with live music starting at 8:30PM. Come dance the night away to the music of Windstorm, one of the most fun and energetic party bands this event has seen in a while! They play a wide range of songs from soul, blues and R&B, to pop, hip hop, and old school funk. Trust us, they will blow you away with their performance!

Windstorm bring impressive dance jams and moves to the stage!

Catering will again be provided by Linda Peevy, whose food continues to impress Mardi Gras Ball attendees year after year. NCLAC will be hosting the Silent Auction portion of the night with tons of great packages, products, artwork and more available for attendees to bid on. Professional photography will be done once again by Kevin Hawkins Photography. New to the Mardi Gras Ball this year is Bash Booth! Party goers from across the area have had a blast taking pics in this photo booth! Remember to share yours using #RustonLA! 

Bash Booth printouts are complimentary!

The proceeds from this event benefit the Dixie Center for the Arts Sustaining Building Fund and the nonprofits that are housed within it. The historic Dixie Theatre in Downtown Ruston has been a source of arts and entertainment for over 8 decades! Help continue the Dixie's legacy and provide a home to NCLAC and Ruston Community Theatre by purchasing your tickets for this event and taking part in the booze basket raffle and silent auction!

Tickets for the event are $60 and can be purchased at the Dixie Center, located at 212 North Vienna Street. Remember to bring cash for drink tickets - $3 for beer and wine/$6 for mixed drinks and the signature cocktail!

You won't want to miss this chance to dress up for a night and enjoy the dining, dancing and socializing as we celebrate this iconic season in Louisiana! For more information, visit or call (318) 255-1450!

Laissez les bon temps rouler in Ruston, LA!

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.”

Friday, January 27, 2017

Molly Meets Ruston: Shop Local Food at Log Cabin

Written by: Molly Coleman, Marketing Assistant 

Everyone in Ruston knows Log Cabin Grill is a tasty treat for all ages. But I have discovered the true gem to this amazing restaurant: the Market inside Log Cabin. I love shopping local, and getting that chance to shop local for good food is even better!

So, I like to call myself a "self proclaimed" foodie, this probably comes from my Italian and Lebanese background where my entire family thinks that their way of cooking is the only way and that every time food is prepared, it is pretty much an eighteen course meal. No food group is skipped over and there is enough food for an army -- this is why I love Log Cabin Market, with so many options to choose from for me to cook!

My husband and I really enjoy grilling out and cooking (especially for sporting events). Since we have moved here to Ruston in the peak of football playoffs, I can honestly say we have been found frequenting Log Cabin Market. I love how quaint and personal the market is, shopping there is such a fun and friendly experience!

I am going to share a few of my favorite aspects of this local market, but these few things do not even touch how much more they have you will HAVE to go and check out!

With every good food gathering, an appetizer is a southern stable! Log Cabin has great snacks for all like boudin, sausage, crackers & dips and much more!

Spices, Herbs & Sauces
I know they say if the meat is cooked right you don't need any sauce, but I beg to differ after you see the collection of sauces and spices Log Cabin has to offer. Choose from spices & seasonings to prepare your fresh meat with or jams & sauces for all your dipping needs.

This is a small portion of all of the sauces and jams they have to offer at Log Cabin Market! 

Fresh Meat
Where to start on this?! This is usually my husband's department, but every time we go in to Log Cabin Market we end up discussing what to cook/grill because there are so many options that will make your mouth water! You can chose from beef, pork, chicken and seafood, with multiple variations of each. They have kabobs with veggies, stuffed seafood and pre-seasoned meats if you don't want to battle finding a good rub or marinade!

With social gatherings and cooking out, there is always a good cocktail! Visit Log Cabin Market to find all the drink mixes you can imagine! 

Yummy Drink Mixes. They also have daiquiri options and more! 
As if this isn't enough, check out what they have for breakfast, baked goods, their take and bake freezer and gluten free items!

With Louisiana Tech spring sports and events, the Superbowl and warm weather 
just around the corner, check out Log Cabin Market for all your food & fix-in's!

Log Cabin's rows of goodies and their check-out counter! 

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. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Crappie Masters 2017: What you need to know

Written by: Molly Coleman, Marketing Assistant 

Lincoln Parish and Union Parish have partnered again for the 2017 Crappie Masters Louisiana State Championship Tournament on Lake D'Arbonne in Farmerville, Louisiana! Interested in participating or cheering on your favorite fishermen (or fisherwomen!), read below for everything you need to know! 

Ruston, LA and Lincoln Parish invites you to come join the Crappie Masters Tournament. A place where friends and families crappie fish for fun, with the spice of competition! 

Who: Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail, the nation's premiere crappie fishing tournament

What: Crappie fishing tournament for anglers of all skill levels

When: February 24 & 25, 2017

Where: Lake D'Arbonne in Farmerville, LA

Cost: Entry Fee - $325.00

How to Register: Click here for the necessary forms to mail in or choose the online entry form. To register over the phone, call (660) 351-4187. Late fee applies after February 10th.

Host Hotels in Ruston:

Comfort Inn
1951 North Service Rd E 
Ruston, LA 71270

Days Inn
1801 N Service Rd E
Ruston, LA 71270

Prizes: Payback is based upon how many entries the tournament receives, Crappie Master's pay back 100% of the entry fees plus additional bonus monies.

Based on expected amount of boats entered, $30,000 in cash and prizes will be paid back, predicting first place would be around $6,000 cash.

There are additional prizes for the highest placing Male/Female team and for the the highest placing Adult/Youth team.

Previous Winners: 
2016 Winners: Terry Richard and Casey Raynor

2015 Winners: Jay Stone and John Godwin 

Kids Tournament: All children, ages 0-15, are invited to participate in a FREE Kids Fishing Rodeo at all scheduled Crappie Masters qualifying tournaments. Click here for the necessary form to enter youth into the kids rodeo. All kids will be entered into a drawing for the Youth Scholarship Fish-Off held at the Crappie Masters National Championship and are known to be awarded more than $5,000 in scholarship monies annually.

Remember: Late Fee - $25.00 after Feb 11

More info: All this information and more can be found at or by calling their office at 660-351-4187.

We welcome all to come enjoy, compete and win prizes in tourist location while striving to promote, enhance, and preserve our outdoor heritage, specifically crappie fishing. We're excited to have local and visiting anglers with their friends and family in Ruston, LA. For more things to do while you're in town, visit

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. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

7 for '17 - What's new in Ruston!

Written by Travis Napper, President/CEO 

This year will be a busy one for #RustonLA and full of exciting new restaurant openings, events and more! Check out the list below to see what's coming to Ruston and Lincoln Parish in 2017! 

1. Biking - The Rock Island Greenway (The RIG) will be a tremendous addition to the growing biking and running community. With the first phase set for completion by the end of March and the 2nd and 3rd phases hopefully added by the end of the year, up to 6 miles of the shared-use path will run through the city and connect riders and runners to neighborhoods, parks, downtown, and campus. Bonus: MedCamps Madness is hosting its inaugural multi-level cycling tour and/or a 5K run on March 18th.

2. Restaurants - Chick-fil-A is coming! That's all that needs to be said. The people of Ruston and our visitors have been waiting on this for quite some time and it will be a reality in August. Bonus: Jimmy John's, a second Waffle House and others are opening this year too.

3. Football - Louisiana Tech will be hosting a program-record 7 home games and unveiling a new Press Box (get your tickets here). Grambling is hosting 4 home games, bringing the total to 11 college football games being hosted in Lincoln Parish this fall. Bonus: Louisiana Tech could up their number to 8 if they were to host the C-USA Conference Championship (Fingers crossed!)

4. Hotels - With all the new activity and more football weekends, more hotel rooms are needed! Courtyard by Mariott and Best Western Plus will be opening this year bringing the total room count in Ruston to over 850! Bonus: The Courtyard will also have over 3,200 sq ft of event space that can be broken out into 4 rooms!

5. Fishing - Did you know that we helped host the Louisiana State Championship for Crappie Masters at Lake D'Arbonne for the past 2 years? Well we're at it again this year! And with the popularity of the sport and prestige of Lake D'Arbonne, we're also hosting the American Crappie Trail in its inaugural year March 31-April 1 as one of only five lakes to be chosen leading up to the National Championship. Bonus: The winner receives a brand new Ranger Boat!

6. Festivals - All aboard for Railroad Fest! On April 8th, be a part of the evolution of Ruston Makers Fair into Railroad Makers & Music Festival. Taking place in Downtown Ruston, makers will be on display throughout the day and the music set up at the Railroad Park stage in the evening. Bonus: Follow Railroad Fest on Instagram and Facebook for updates on the music lineup!

7. Murals - Two new murals will highlight Downtown Ruston with another mural being added at the interstate underpass by the end of 2017/early 2018. All three will feature different artistic styles while portraying a true sense of the Ruston community past, present, and future. Bonus: Look for at least one community paint day so you too can have an opportunity to put your mark on Ruston! 

Travis Napper is from Monroe, La., but has called Ruston home for almost 15 years. He is a LA Tech alum and devoted Bulldog fan. Travis is a proud husband to Brittany and father of two children, Emory and Stover. In his spare time, he enjoys cheering on the bulldogs and enjoying local events. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Molly Meets Ruston: From Mississippi to Louisiana

Written by Molly Coleman, Marketing Assistant 

Hi Everyone! My name is Molly Coleman and I am a brand new resident of not only Louisiana but of the most amazing small town in the piney woods of Ruston! Before moving here, I knew nothing at all about this charming town I have chosen to call home for so many wonderful reasons.

I can’t wait to tell you what qualities led me to calling Ruston my new home, but first I would like to tell you a little bit about where I came from and what led me to Choosing Ruston. I was born and raised in the small, but growing town of Oxford, Mississippi, the home of Ole Miss, and a very historic square with lots of local charm. After high school I moved to Starkville, Miss. and attended college at MSU. I got married and moved back to Oxford, Miss. where my husband and I both grew up. Living in Oxford and Starkville definitely had its differences, especially with their long history of competition. But both of these charming college towns shared two important factors: Community Involvement and Southern Hospitality. These two traits is what made it so easy to call both Oxford and Starkville home to me.

Just a few short weeks before we packed up and moved to Ruston! 

So now I know you are wondering how my husband and I ended up from Mississippi to Louisiana and why we chose Ruston. My husband was offered advancement in his career and that meant re-location to southern Arkansas. I will be completely honest with you, when he informed me we would be moving, I cried. Leaving Oxford was not in my plans. After days and hours of researching communities close to where his office is located, I stumbled upon Ruston and this exact Experience Ruston blog and the Experience Ruston Facebook page. This accidental stumble led me to choose living in Ruston.

As I came down for multiple visits during the months we were given to prepare for the move, I noticed these same traits of Community Involvement and Southern Hospitality in Ruston as I experienced in Mississippi. It suddenly made me feel this was the right place to call home. Not only did I experience these qualities then, but I have seen them in the few short weeks we have been living here. As we have joined this community we have been taken in with open arms by every local business we have encountered and by every individual that we have crossed paths with.

Findings of a really unique wall at Sundown Tavern!
Exploring Downtown Ruston! 

I not only love the small town charm that comes with Ruston’s local eateries, shops and the beautiful downtown area. But I also love to see the community come together for their local events and the support of the universities in town.

Follow me as I meet Ruston, watch me grow with the community as I plunge in and fully involve myself with all aspects of this incredible community. I cannot wait to attend events, shop, dine and cheer on the Universities in Ruston. As 2017 gets started, I am extremely anxious to dive in, and to fully experience Ruston!

Meet me in Ruston!

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.