Louisianians tend to associate the month of June with its scorching temperatures and kids’ pleas for entertainment, but the month also has a significant perk: June marks the beginning of peach season in Ruston, La. Beat the summer heat by enjoying a weekend of family fun in Ruston Friday, June 21, and Saturday, June 22, when the city hosts the annual Louisiana Peach Festival.
The festival is Louisiana’s oldest agricultural festival. Succulent peaches, sweet peach cobbler and velvety peach ice cream are all sold at the festival. Members of the Omicron Eta Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, a local service sorority, partner with Blue Bell to produce the festival’s special peach ice cream, and standing in line for this popular treat is worth the wait. “The ‘peach ice cream ladies’ are busy from the festival’s opening until sunset serving excited customers,” says Nancy Bergeron, the communications manager for the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. If a scoop of this delicious dessert is not enough to satisfy your peach cravings, participate in the peach-eating contest for the chance to gain formal recognition for your appetite. Do not be embarrassed if you do; people travel to the Louisiana Peach Festival from as far as five states away to indulge in Ruston’s famed fruit.
The festival also offers more than peach delicacies. This year, festival-goers can experience exciting live music from performers such as Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, The Arkansas Brothers, Stanley Kershaw and more. Attendees can also browse the arts-and-crafts market that boasts a selection of homemade products from more than 200 vendors. Local vendors gather at Ruston’s City Hall Civic Center to sell everything from pottery and photography to jams and jellies. The festival’s schedule of events additionally includes fishing tournaments, a parade, a 5K run, an antique car show, a rodeo and various other activities that truly make the Louisiana Peach Festival an occasion for people of all ages to enjoy. “The Peach Festival’s family-oriented goal gives it appeal to people of all different ages groups and interests,” Bergeron says.
The Details: Louisiana Peach Festival
When: June 21-22, 2013
Where: Historic Railroad Park in Ruston, La. (Map here)
Fees and Admission: $5 after 5:00 p.m. Friday; $5 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, $10 for Saturday evening music in in the park, or $10 for an all-day admission that includes the concert.
Festival Tips: Participate in the Peach Cookery Contest and you could win a two-night stay at The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans.
More Information: louisianapeachfestival.org