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Convention and Visitors Bureau hosts Picnic in the Park

May 5, 2016

KEIERA BELL 

Staff Reporter | klb072@ latech.edu

 

Gamma Chi Hanna Parker paints a young girl's face at Picnic in the Park. Photo by Avery Bryan

Gamma Chi Hanna Parker paints a young girl’s face at Picnic in the Park. Photo by Avery Bryan

 

The Ruston-Lincoln Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted its Picnic in the Park event Sunday for community members and visitors to enjoy a piece of Ruston.

 

 

Amanda Quimby, CVB’s marketing director, said the event was planned to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, which lasts the entire first week of May.

 

 

She said this event was perfect for that week so anyone could participate and see one of the beautiful wonders of the town.

 

 

“This community-wide picnic was to honor one of our most popular attractions in Ruston and Lincoln Parish,” Quimby said. “Lincoln Parish Park is also rated No.  1 on Trip Advisor’s touring locations in Ruston.”

 

 

She said the Picnic in the Park was the first event of its kind the CVB and Lincoln Parish Park hosted together.

 

 

“We thought the Picnic in the Park would be an awesome way to thank everyone for being great helpers and supporting all our events,” Quimby said.

 

 

Tori Ward, CVB’s Marketing Public Relations assistant, said before the event was a finished product it was just a random idea she came up with to bring the community together.

 

 

“This event started as a little idea I wrote in my notebook, but then it became our project that came together in a pretty easy way,” Ward said.

 

 

She said this event fell on a good week because it gave them the chance to work with other people and organizations to show what the Ruston and Lincoln Parish community have to offer.

 

 

“We have a photo Bash Booth, face painting, bounce houses, a cotton candy cart from Social Bites of Ruston, and more activities for the kids provided by North Central Louisiana Arts Council and The Idea Place,” Ward said.

 

 

Victoria Sharplin, a Gamma Chi volunteer, said Quimby asked the PanHellenic Council for any girls who wanted to volunteer for the event.

 

 

“All the Gamma Chi volunteers were put in charge of the face painting and bounce houses,” said Sharplin, a junior clinical kinesiology major.

 

 

She said they also did whatever was needed of them, both on Tech’s campus and in the community.

 

 

“We help a lot on Tech’s campus, but it’s great to get out and help our community with projects like these,” Sharplin said. “It really gives us a chance to make a change and see the beauty of how families interact with one another at events.”

 

 

Quimby said she is hoping to do an event like the ‘Picnic in the Park’ every year. She said they will definitely try to include local food trucks and restaurants, and invite others who have anything they would want to contribute.

 

 

“We would also like for Tech groups to participate, like Champ, the cheerleaders and Regal Blues,” Quimby said. “With everyone together we can show visitors how well we work together as a community.”

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