Are looking for something to do in and around Runnels County. Here are three events coming up.

40th Annual Cotton Festival

MILES – The 40th Annual Miles Cotton Festival kicks off Saturday, Sept. 9 in City Park. There will be a variety of food contests which will be held Friday, with turn in times between 6:45-7 p.m. The Miles Masonic Lodge will host a pancake breakfast from 6-9 a.m. Saturday at Weatherby Hall.The annual parade gets underway at 10 a.m. in downtown Miles, and organizers say there will be some surprises in store this year. The festival cook-off will start at 9 a.m. in the Miles Preservation Authority Park with the categories of brisket, pork spare ribs, chicken, beans and margaritas. Other activities include a cotton stalk contest, a jackpot goat roping, a children's fair with inflatables, live entertainment, a washer pitching contest, helicopter rides, the Miles Public Library sidewalk book giveaway and the Miles Cotton Queen contest. The Cotton Queen will be crowned at 6:30 p.m. The Miles Empowerment Association will have a spaghetti meal from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Miles Opera House to raise funds for a city playground and the cost is by donation. The Miles Historic Museum also will be open until 2 p.m. in the Opera House. Musical performances will feature Matthew Lopez, followed by The Backroad Troubadours. Attendees can bring lawn chairs. Coolers are allowed but no glass. For more information, call 325-468-3611 or 325-245-7059 or visit

Viva Mexico!

BALLINGER - The Mexican Independence Day Tamale Contest will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Ballinger Community Center at 200 Crosson Ave. There will be a meal, and the Los Compadres Mariachi band and the Metzlti Folklorico dancers from San Angelo will perform. A dance is slated from 9-11 p.m. with the music provided by Trio Tres Huastecos. There will be contests for tamales, table decoration and costumes and judging will be held at 6 p.m. The meal includes an enchilada casserole, a tamale, rice, beans and a salad. Tickets are $25 each for the meal and the dance, and $15 each for the dance only and are available at the Carnegie Library. For more information or to sign up for the contest, call Yolanda Lara at 325-718-9153, Iris Black at 325-365-2396 or Rosa Dela Cerda at 325-718-7414.

Senior Citizen lunch

BALLINGER - The First United Methodist Church in Ballinger will provide a free lunch to Ballinger senior citizens on the second Tuesday of each month at the Senior Citizens Center. The meal will be served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The doors will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. to make time for seniors attending to have time for visiting and fellowship. Anyone who needs a ride to the lunch, please call 365-2323. Wheelchairs cannot be transported.