BALLINGER - Once again it is festival time in Runnels County with the 42st Annual Texas State Festival of Ethnic Cultures and Arts and Crafts Show Saturday, April 29.

BALLINGER - Once again it is festival time in Runnels County with the 42st Annual Texas State Festival of Ethnic Cultures and Arts and Crafts Show Saturday, April 29. The festival has grown over the years and has become one of the most popular attractions held in Ballinger each year.

“It is going to be a great festival this year,” said Tammie Virden, executive director of the Ballinger Area Chamber of Commerce.

The fest starts with the parade at 10 a.m. and ends with the crowing of Miss Ballinger and Miss Junior Ballinger at 6 p.m.

The fest started with seven cultures and each culture had a booth with authentic food prepared from original recipes handed down through the ages. Over the years, more cultures were represented including German, Italian, French, Czech, English, Swedish and Irish.

Since the early years the fest earned state recognition. In 1978, the fest became known by its official copyrighted name the "Texas State Festival of Ethnic Cultures and Arts and Crafts Show."

Ethnic Fest always includes a variety of activities including the Colorado River Bikefest and a parade, the Miss Ballinger and Junior Miss Ballinger contests, booths with a variety of foods, arts and crafts as well as activities for children and music. The deadline to enter the Miss Ballinger and Junior Miss Ballinger contests is April 14.

Registration is underway for the 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament, which is open to kids of all ages. Registration is $45 per team, and forms are available at each of the Ballinger schools or at the chamber office.

Virden said the parade route will be in reverse this year, with the parade starting at 10th Street and Railroad Avenue and going to Hutchings Avenue, then to Broadway and going left back to Railroad and 10th St.

The deadline to register parade entries, to reserve booth space and for the tournament is April 21.

For more information call the Ballinger Chamber at 325-365-2333.