By Emma Stone
The stores were open, the wine cards were punched, and the residents were walking through downtown Ruston at the fifth annual Wine Walk, generating revenue and interest for shopping local.
Amy Stegall, Ruston community coordinator and organizer for the Wine Walk, said participants and businesses both experienced great opportunities through this event.
“Over 40 of our merchants participate as stops on the walk,” said Stegall. “It gives the community an opportunity to visit new stores, meet business owners, and enjoy experiences in the stores like live music, artists, snacks, in-store specials and more.”
Each ticket was $10 and participants were given a 10-serving limit on individual glasses of wine.
This year, Downtown Ruston offered EZ-Rider where participants could get a safe ride home or to their car.
“Events like this draw people all over the district. Not just at the park,” said Stegall. “For that reason it is important to have these kinds of events because it actually draws people into stores they may not ever visit otherwise. We hope that turns into repeat business for our merchants.”
Alayna Martin, wine server and assistant for Buie’s Photo Shop and Studio, helped pour wine for participants and take pictures.
“It was a super fun night,” said Martin. “It’s always nice when everyone can come together in Downtown Ruston.”
Buie’s offered a background with colorful balloons and Halloween-themed decorations with which participants could take pictures.
“I loved seeing everyone dressed up, and just enjoying their time with one another,” said Martin. “We met a lot of people and enjoyed having visitors in our studio, especially for our grand opening.”
This is one of downtown Ruston’s most popular events, and tickets went on sale Oct. 6 — and sold out by Oct. 7. Profits from sales go to other downtown Ruston events, such as Cookies with Santa, Holiday Open House, Beer Crawl, Downtown Ruston Business Awards and more.