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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Percy at the Ruston Peach Festival this Weekend

Downtown Ruston comes alive this weekend with The Squire Creek Peach Festival.
The festival brings hundreds of vendors to town to offer crafts and items for sale, an antique car show, a community band concert, evening entertainment, food booths, a tennis tournament, a golf tournament, a 5-K run, a rodeo, a parade ... oh, and yes, peaches. Lots of peaches.
There's really nothing better than a locally grown peach, so sweet and juicy it drips down your arm. Throw some chopped peaches into an ice cream freezer and you're in heaven.
Speaking of peaches and ice cream, this year's festival has a bittersweet flavor. For the last time, the Louisiana Tech University dairy is providing its signature peach ice cream before shutting its doors for good. That, alone, is reason enough to visit.
There's live music downtown nightly on the Railroad Park stage beginning at 8 p.m. Friday with Left Arm Tan, a Fort Worth, Texas-based alternative country band. Saturday also features music in the park beginning at 7 p.m. with a return appearance by Chasing Daylight. Also making a return festival appearance, this year's headliner, Percy Sledge. The week's events kicked off Monday with a luncheon featuring no less that former President George W. Bush as guest speaker.
The annual event starts the festival season and celebrates what is good and wholesome about our region. What's more, it celebrates the roots of rural northeastern Louisiana.
Still to come: the Louisiana Watermelon Festival in Farmerville and the Catfish Festival in Winnsboro. Then there's the big industrial Northeast Louisiana Ag Expo.
All of them a celebration of community and commodity, and all of them draw big crowds.
Festivals bring clean tourism to the local economy. In Farmerville, for instance, the Louisiana Watermelon Festival has doubled the town's population for one day. In the process, the festivals generate a green that is as important to the communities as the green of the orchards and fields that produce our bounty, a monetary harvest.
Taste life in northeastern Louisiana. Join in the celebration.

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