Great Texas Balloon Race founder on race's impact - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Great Texas Balloon Race founder on race's impact

Pilot Bill Bussey gives the low down on the high ups. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV. Pilot Bill Bussey gives the low down on the high ups. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV.
GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

It’s been going on for four decades, and it’s taking off again this week: The Great Texas Balloon Race. 

According to Great Texas Balloon Race founder Bill Bussey, the race has grown over the years.

“It's given an impact to the city of around $3 million each year,” Bussey said.

The race has ballooned over forty years since its inception, and residents have grown accustomed to it.

“This is something that the citizens of East Texas take ownership in; 'we' have a balloon race, it’s not 'they' have a balloon race,” Bussey pointed out.

Bussey and the board like that. Thousands attend the race, and a study a found that:

“Seventy-two percent come from outside of Longview,” Bussey explained.

Bussey says some plan vacations around the race, and they have to stay somewhere. He says RV parks fill up.

“And of course we have the direct affect of hotels and food, gasoline, et cetera, you know,” Bussey said.

But he says it’s not set up to generate money for the board of directors.

“No one gets paid anything. It’s strictly volunteer,” Bussey stated.

They depend on support of the citizens to stay afloat.

“They want free access; we have terrible expenses. You don’t get Travis Tritt for nothing,” Bussey said.

In fact, Bussey says he pays for his parents' way in.

“If I can buy my parents tickets, then I can ask my friends to step up to the plate. You know, support something,” Bussey said.

In the beginning there were only a few balloons, but not anymore.

“We have a pretty big deal, you know, so that’s what we like, is for folks to take ownership in it,” Bussey added.

And though it might seem obvious to say it, he hopes the sky’s the limit for the Great Texas Balloon Race.

Copyright 2017 KLTV. All rights reserved         

  • NewsMore>>

  • John Tyler receives donation for local lawyer to help upgrade helmets

    John Tyler receives donation for local lawyer to help upgrade helmets

    Friday, August 18 2017 11:14 PM EDT2017-08-19 03:14:50 GMT
    KLTV StaffKLTV Staff
    The John Tyler Lions always seem to look sharp in their uniforms. But thanks to East Texas lawyer Keith Miller, the Lions will look better and play safer. Helmets that advertise lowering the impact of hits, and possibly reduce the amount of concussions, come with a hefty price-tag. Miller's donation of 7,500 dollars, will go to help the lions cover that cost. "Keith Miller's been a big sponsor of John Tyler High School football program for years now.  I know it's...More >>
    The John Tyler Lions always seem to look sharp in their uniforms. But thanks to East Texas lawyer Keith Miller, the Lions will look better and play safer. Helmets that advertise lowering the impact of hits, and possibly reduce the amount of concussions, come with a hefty price-tag. Miller's donation of 7,500 dollars, will go to help the lions cover that cost. "Keith Miller's been a big sponsor of John Tyler High School football program for years now.  I know it's...More >>
  • Red Zone Rundown: Kilgore looks to a pair of Bulldogs speed to up offense

    Red Zone Rundown: Kilgore looks to a pair of Bulldogs speed to up offense

    Friday, August 18 2017 11:08 PM EDT2017-08-19 03:08:11 GMT
    KLTV StaffKLTV Staff
    The last time we talked about the Kilgore Bulldogs, quarterback Buddy Jackson and wide receiver Jonathan Shepherd were apart of the 800-meter relay team that won gold at the 2017 state track meet. But today they are back in the pads, and looking to turn their speed into touchdowns.  Competing in District 9-4A, Kilgore has always had a strong run game that helped them become the 2016 District Champs. However, in order to surpass their opponents this season, including Carthag...More >>
    The last time we talked about the Kilgore Bulldogs, quarterback Buddy Jackson and wide receiver Jonathan Shepherd were apart of the 800-meter relay team that won gold at the 2017 state track meet. But today they are back in the pads, and looking to turn their speed into touchdowns.  Competing in District 9-4A, Kilgore has always had a strong run game that helped them become the 2016 District Champs. However, in order to surpass their opponents this season, including Carthag...More >>
  • Arp ISD takes extra precautions after high levels of asbestos reported in city's water

    Arp ISD takes extra precautions after high levels of asbestos reported in city's water

    Friday, August 18 2017 10:43 PM EDT2017-08-19 02:43:21 GMT
    Sample of water taken from sink inside Arp Junior High School. (Source: KLTV News Staff)Sample of water taken from sink inside Arp Junior High School. (Source: KLTV News Staff)

    Holding up a sample of water collected from a sink at the Arp Junior High school, the district’s superintendent says “it looks like lake water.” 

    More >>

    Holding up a sample of water collected from a sink at the Arp Junior High school, the district’s superintendent says “it looks like lake water.” 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly