By T. Scott Boatright
Even though it remains changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Louisiana Peach Fest returns to downtown Ruston Saturday for a one-day event.
The 71st annual Peach Fest will feature more than hours of live music, more than 75 food and arts vendors, interactive kids activities, peachy treats and eats, and more fun for the whole family.
This year marks the first the festival is being coordinated by the Ruston Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Downtown Ruston Main Street program.
“After a tough 2020, I think the entire community is excited to enjoy this Ruston tradition again, even if this year will look a little different than previous years,” said Amy Stegall, Ruston Main Street Director.
The festival run from 9 a.m. – 11 p.m. Saturday.
Event organizers say that in scaling back the event, they hope it will refocus the event on the community and provide more of a local feel.
“We really wanted to give area artists and musicians an opportunity to showcase their talents, in addition to driving more foot traffic into our local businesses and restaurants,” said Amanda Carrier, President and CEO of the Ruston Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The festival has traditionally been an economic driver for the area, making an average economic impact of $2 million annually. Festival organizers hope that local businesses and vendors will see a substantial impact again during this year’s festivities.
All festival activities will be free from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The evening concert from 4:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. will have an admission of $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.
See below for the schedule of events for the 71st annual Louisiana Peach Festival:
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Peach Arts Market – Discover art, handmade items, and homemade goods from local artists, artisans, and makers. Located in Sexton Lot across from Railroad Park.
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Kids Alley: An Art Experience – Kids of all ages can enjoy hands-on art activities including peachy crafts, calligraphy, photography, art demonstrations, and more. Located in Esma’s Alley, 112 E Park Ave.
9 a.m. – 11 p.m.: Live Performances on the Railroad Park Stage including Jade Reynolds, Lady Chops, Josh Love, Victoria Wells, Bill Deese, Zach O’Neil, The Cypress Knees, Tipsey the Band, LVVRS, and The Hollow Decks.
Other offsite events will also be taking place during the week leading up to the event and following the event. Other peach events include the Peach Art Exhibit, Peachy Sidewalk Sales, Kids Fishing Tournament, Queen Dixie Gem Peach and Princess Peach Pageant, Peach Baby Photo Contest, and Peach Rodeo. For a full list of events, please visit http://www.lapeachfest.com.
Official 2021 Peach Festival merchandise are available for purchase at the Ruston Visitors Center on. This year’s merchandise includes T-shirts (12M– 3XL), posters, and stickers. All festival merchandise will also be available at the festival itself.
For more information on the Louisiana Peach Festival, visit http://www.lapeachfest.com or contact 318-255-2031.