School is back in session, and the universities are full of students, and downtown Ruston is booming with activities. Amy Stegall, Main Street Director and Community Coordinator, has lots of plans this fall in this week’s Q&A.
What kind of fall activities are we looking at in downtown Ruston?
Fall is one of my favorite seasons in Downtown Ruston. Fall means Loyal Blue Weekend events—kicking off home-game weekends on Friday night in Downtown Ruston has become a tradition. From live music, food, interactive art experiences and pep-rallies, you won’t find a better place to get in the Bulldog spirit! Don’t forget the shuttle to the game begins two hours before game time and runs until one hour post game. This free service and Loyal Blue Weekend events are brought to you by Experience Ruston, Downtown Ruston and the City of Ruston. Football is a big part of our fall event schedule, but you also want to mark your calendar for Pumpkins in the Park, The Witches Ride, Artoberfest and Wine Walk!
How is Tech and downtown becoming closer this season?
We are so excited to welcome Tech students back this fall. We loved being at the “Taste of Ruston” event sponsored by the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce earlier this month. This gave us the opportunity to personally invite Tech students to attend our fall events and much more about our downtown. Students make Ruston such a vibrant place to live. The most exciting thing is seeing them enjoying our downtown. There are so many other ways we are interacting with students. Inviting them to give insight on our social media through communications classes, providing internship opportunities for students, and more and more students are working in our stores and restaurants downtown are just a few of the ways we are becoming closer to Tech.
Why is it important that Ruston have a dynamic downtown?
Downtown is the heartbeat of Ruston. No one wants to visit a place where the stores are closed and things aren’t happening. We have seen first hand just how much our Main Street approach has benefited out downtown. With only a few vacant spaces in the landscape, downtown is booming.
What makes you excited to go into work each day?
I love the opportunity to plan what’s next for downtown. Working with amazing community partners who have share the vision to make Ruston the very best city it can be, is my favorite part of this job. Well, actually seeing some of our ideas come to fruition is really the best part!
What do you think makes downtown Ruston special?
Easiest question—the people. We live and work among some of the most amazing people in the world. I love that you can shop in stores where people not only know your name, but they also look for styles you would wear when they go to market. Our people truly care about one another and it is what makes the biggest difference between Ruston and other places. Don’t worry — if you’re new they’ll love you, too!
What do you hope downtown Ruston looks like in five years?
In five years I would love to see a seamless transition between downtown and the rest of the city. Making it a walkable, beautiful and quality place to have lunch, dinner, find your favorite outfit, get a haircut or close on your house is our goal. We are hopeful we will be the kind of place that Main Street USA recognizes as one of the Great American Main Streets—and we are working hard every day to make sure it happens!
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