Lawmaker wants Gregg Co. to be known as Balloon Race Capital -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Lawmaker wants Gregg Co. to be known as Balloon Race Capital of Texas

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A State Representative from East Texas wants part of his district to have statewide recognition for an annual event.

Representative David Simpson, R-Longview, filed House Resolution 23, asking the house commemorate the 36th anniversary of the Great Texas Balloon Race and declare Gregg County the Balloon Race Capital of Texas.

In the resolution, Simpson says the event "has brought majestic beauty, thrilling competition, and valuable commerce to the area."

The Great Texas Balloon Race has been in East Texas since 1978 when it was started by a world-record balloon pilot and two Longview Mall managers. The race has been held at various sites over the years because of increasing attendance, but now calls the East Texas Regional Airport its home.

The race was also home to the Balloon Federation of America's U.S. National Championships in 2012 and will continue to host the championship through 2014.

The Texas Legislature declared a week in 1985 as Great Texas Balloon Race Week and Governor Mark White declared Longview as the Balloon Capital of Texas.

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