Established in 1886 as Hutchins City, Ballinger is the Runnels County seat. It is predominantly agricultural with extensive cattle, sheep and poultry, plus cotton, grain sorghum and fruits. Minerals include oil and natural gas.
The Carnegie Library, built in 1909, is one of a few in the state in continuous use as a library. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Open weekday afternoons. 204 N. Eighth St. 325/365-3616.
Downtown Pioneer Plaza honors early settlers. It features a fountain, gazebo and restored Star Tobacco sign, circa 1909.
The 10-acre City Park and Lake on Elm Creek features camping facilities, playground and picnic areas, swimming pool and miniature golf course. Fish and water ski on the lake; about five miles west of city. 867 E. Hill St.
The Texas State Festival of Ethnic Cultures and Arts and Crafts Show is held the last weekend in April.