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Great Texas Balloon Race returns to Longview city limits for 2022

Serious ride with a serious pilot at the Great Texas Balloon Race
Serious ride with a serious pilot at the Great Texas Balloon Race
Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 3:29 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Officials with the Great Texas Balloon Race announced Friday that the 2022 event will be returning to its place of origin with all flights, features and entertainment taking place inside the city of Longview.

A modified 2021 event provided for three mornings of competition balloon flights over Longview along with mass ascensions and inflations on two evenings inside the city limits. The response was so overwhelmingly positive from the community, the hot air balloon pilots and sponsors that bringing the race and its associated attractions back inside Longview is clearly the best path. That’s what will happen at the Longview Convention Complex Friday, June 17 through Sunday, June 19, 2022.

The Great Texas Balloon Race began in 1978 after Dr. Bill Bussey met with Longview Mall Manager Frankie Parson and Marketing Director Mary Wade LeTourneau. To celebrate the opening of the mall, 20 balloons with celebrities in their baskets made a short flight. The event was packed. Two years later, Dr. Bussey organized the first-ever balloon glow in the mall’s south parking lot.

The race continued to grow until it eventually moved to the airport. However organizers said the time is right to move back into the City of Longview, and city and county officials said they support the change.

“The Great Texas Balloon has been a favorite event in Longview for many years and has really become one of the things that makes us unique and special as a community,” Longview Mayor Andy Mack said. “We’re excited that the event organizers have decided to host more aspects of the event within Longview this coming year.”

Keeping the flights over Longview and returning to the full event format will mean more opportunities to see colorful balloons dot the sky over the city, more exposure for our sponsors and local businesses, and a shorter drive to enjoy entertainment and vendors.

Watch for details about the concerts and full event attractions to be released in the months leading up to the 2022 event.

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