Activities abound in downtown Ruston

By April Clark Honaker

Fall is approaching, and many are ready to welcome cooler days, changing leaves, and all things pumpkin.

Starting Friday, Sept.  9, Loyal Blue Weekends will kick off with Louisiana Tech’s first home game against Stephen F. Austin. A pep rally in railroad park on Friday will get everyone pumped for Saturday’s game. 

“Every year, we invite the community to come down and participate in a pep rally with cheerleaders and spirit groups,” said Ruston Main Street Director Amy Stegall.

Last year, the home-game pep rallies began featuring Tech’s Band of Pride, which made a huge difference in the energy, Stegall added.

“It’s really awesome to be in Railroad Park when the entire Band of Pride is playing,” Stegall said. “It gets everyone ready for Bulldog football.”

Another bonus of the Loyal Blue Weekends is that a free trolley runs back and forth between downtown and the stadium, so ticket holders can enjoy dinner in town and not have to worry about parking.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, Friends of Ruston Main Street and its community partners will host the second in a series of Ruston Art Encounters downtown. These events will take place the last Saturday of every other month throughout the year, and each will have a different focus.

“It’s about learning about different artists and art styles,” said Stegall.

The mural event will give event goers an opportunity to explore downtown while experiencing samples of mural art from a variety of artists. 

According to Stegall, the organizing committee hopes to have a mural demonstration at Heard Freighthouse Food Park for those interested in learning more about how to create a mural. 

On Thursday, Sept. 29, Ruston Cultural District’s Bulldog Project Auction will take place at Davison Athletic Complex from 6:30-8 p.m. Attendees will have an opportunity to bid on statues from the Bulldog Project. These statues were designed and painted by local artists, and the original ones continue to be displayed throughout town. The auction will include 20 small, “puppy” statues and seven of the original, 3-feet-tall statues. Starting bids are $50 for the small statues in a silent auction and $2,500 for the large statues in a live auction. Tickets for the event are $50 and include heavy hors d’oeuvres, a free drink ticket for the bar, live music, and access to the live and silent auctions. 

On Saturday, Oct. 1, Ruston Main Street will host Pumpkins on Park, an event for the whole family with activities for children, photo opportunities, food, and a movie in Railroad Park. There will be kettle corn and “Monsters, Inc.” will be shown at dark.

“It will be a fun night to kick off the fall season,” Stegall said, “and it’s free.”

To wrap up October, Ruston Main Street’s annual Wine Walk on Friday, Oct. 28, will give those 21 and older a chance to sip, snack, shop and save while exploring downtown. The event will feature live music and special deals with participating merchants.

“It’s a great night to get out with friends or maybe have a girls night,” Stegall said, “so we just encourage everyone to get out and enjoy it.”    

According to Stegall, other events hosted by Ruston Main Street’s partners, such as the Dixie Center for the Arts, NCLAC and Ruston Community Theater, are also happening throughout downtown this fall. Those interested in learning more are encouraged to follow Downtown Ruston and Ruston Cultural District as well as their community partners on social media.

“One of the great things about our community is that we love to be together, and fall is the perfect time to do that,” Stegall said. “I look forward to cheering on the Bulldogs and seeing everyone together in downtown. I hope you’ll join me.” 

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