35th Annual Great Texas Balloon Race
Longview, Texas- July 28-August 3, The Great Texas Balloon Race (GTBR) will return to the East Texas Regional Airport, marking 35 years of hot–air balloon racing in Longview. It’s a world class event attracting the very best competitive pilots from across the United States and the world. Packed with events and entertainment from dawn to dusk, the GTBR is a weekend festival with something for everyone!
Known as the longest running hot-air balloon event in Texas, The Great Texas Balloon Race began in 1978. From its original venue at Longview Mall, the race moved to the former Stroh’s Brewery site (1985-1986) and then to its current home at the East Texas Regional Airport.
Events like sport and special shapes balloon competitions and the now famous “Balloon Glow” which was the brainchild of original race organizer, Dr. Bill Bussey in 1981 are the cornerstones of the weekend. But when the balloons aren’t in the air, exciting aircraft flights and static exhibits, skydivers, great musical entertainment, an expansive “Kids Land” and fabulous food and craft vendors round out the event for the whole family.
Balloon Flights begin the National event on July 28, Monday at 6:30a.m. with a flight over the City of Longview and continue each morning through Sunday over Kilgore, Longview and East Texas Regional Airport. Launch and landing sites change each day as they are always determined by wind and the weather.
Balloon Glows on Friday and Saturday night entertain crowds with an awesome display of color and excitement. One of the most popular things to do at the event as the public is able to get up close and watch how balloons are inflated and operate.
Live concerts are scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights with entertainemnt sure to be crowd pleasing. Friday, August 1, Roger Creager will take the stage at 9:30p.m. and Saturday, August 2, Tracy Lawrence will take the stage at 9:30p.m.
Kids Land is a safe restricted area for children that requires a separate $5 entry fee.
Food vendors make sure there is always enough to eat and drink during the day and evening.
Tickets to the Great Texas Balloon Race are ON SALE now for $12 at area Brookshire’s and Super 1 Food Stores. You can also purchase advance tickets online HERE. Special weekend passes (Friday & Saturday) are available ONLINE ONLY. Tickets will be $15 at the gate Friday and Saturday. Children under 12 are admitted FREE! Active military are admitted FREE with valid military ID. Admission is FREE for everyone on Sunday.