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. 

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