Kaitlyn Thom

Written by Kaitlyn Thom

Modified & Updated: 30 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Knue.com

The Great Texas Balloon Race is an exhilarating event that captures the hearts and imaginations of spectators from all over. Whether you’re a fan of hot air balloons or simply love the thrill of outdoor festivals, this event promises to deliver endless excitement and breathtaking views. Held in the charming city of Longview, Texas, this annual race brings together skilled pilots from across the country to showcase their balloon-flying talents and compete for the coveted championship title.

With its rich history and unique blend of competition and entertainment, the Great Texas Balloon Race has become a treasured tradition for both locals and visitors alike. In this article, we’ll dive into 20 fascinating facts about this incredible event, giving you a glimpse into the world of hot air ballooning and the magic that unfolds during the Great Texas Balloon Race.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Great Texas Balloon Race is a thrilling event in Longview, Texas, featuring colorful hot air balloons, exciting races, and family-friendly fun. It’s a must-see for anyone who loves adventure and vibrant spectacles!
  • From vibrant balloon designs to night glow events, the Great Texas Balloon Race offers unforgettable experiences for all. It’s a celebration of community, adventure, and the magical sight of hot air balloons soaring through the Texas sky.
Table of Contents

The Great Texas Balloon Race has been a part of Longview, Texas since 1978.

For over four decades, the city of Longview has played host to this fantastic balloon race, making it one of the longest-running events of its kind in the state.

It is held annually in July.

Every year, during the hot summer month of July, the skies above Longview are filled with the vibrant colors of hot air balloons for this thrilling race.

The event attracts more than 50,000 visitors each year.

The Great Texas Balloon Race has gained a reputation as a must-attend event, drawing in tens of thousands of spectators who come to experience the excitement and beauty of the balloon races.

Participants come from all over the United States.

Pilots and crews from various states across the country gather in Longview to participate in the Great Texas Balloon Race, adding to the event’s diverse and electric atmosphere.

The race features a variety of competitions.

The Great Texas Balloon Race offers several thrilling races and competitions, including a breathtaking Hare and Hound race where the lead balloon sets off with the others in pursuit.

The balloons launch from the East Texas Regional Airport.

Located in Longview, the East Texas Regional Airport serves as the take-off point for the majestic hot air balloons, providing a convenient and accessible location for spectators.

The race showcases a wide array of vibrant balloon designs.

From traditional striped balloons to whimsical and creatively shaped ones, the Great Texas Balloon Race is a feast for the eyes with its diverse and colorful balloon fleet.

Spectators can take tethered balloon rides.

For those seeking an unforgettable experience, the Great Texas Balloon Race offers tethered balloon rides, allowing visitors to ascend and enjoy panoramic views of the event.

It is not just about the races.

In addition to the thrilling races, the Great Texas Balloon Race offers a wide range of entertainment options, including live music performances, arts and crafts vendors, and delicious food stalls.

A spectacular Night Glow event takes place.

One of the highlights of the Great Texas Balloon Race is the mesmerizing Night Glow event, during which the tethered balloons light up the night sky, creating a stunning visual display.

The event supports local charities.

The Great Texas Balloon Race is not only a celebration of hot air ballooning but also a platform for giving back to the community, as funds raised from the event go toward supporting local charities and organizations.

Visitors can participate in balloon rides.

Aside from the tethered rides, adventurous visitors can take to the skies in a full-fledged balloon ride, offering a unique and unforgettable aerial perspective of the race and the surrounding scenery.

The event offers fun activities for the whole family.

The Great Texas Balloon Race is a family-friendly affair, featuring children’s activities, games, and even a pedal-powered balloon race, ensuring that everyone, young and old, can enjoy a day filled with laughter and excitement.

The Great Texas Balloon Race has gained national recognition.

Thanks to its outstanding organization and unforgettable experiences, the Great Texas Balloon Race has garnered widespread acclaim and has been featured in multiple national publications.

It provides a chance for photographers to capture stunning images.

The Great Texas Balloon Race offers photography enthusiasts an incredible opportunity to capture breathtaking shots of colorful balloons against the backdrop of the Texas sky, making for truly extraordinary memories.

The event promotes environmental awareness.

In an effort to minimize its impact on the environment, the Great Texas Balloon Race encourages recycling and waste reduction, promoting a cleaner and greener event for all.

Great Texas Balloon Race merchandise is available.

Visitors can take home souvenir items and official merchandise to commemorate their experience at the Great Texas Balloon Race, including shirts, hats, and other balloon-themed memorabilia.

Local businesses participate in the event.

The Great Texas Balloon Race provides a platform for local businesses to showcase their products and services, contributing to the economic growth and vibrancy of the Longview community.

The event is organized by a dedicated group of volunteers.

Behind the scenes of the Great Texas Balloon Race is a team of hardworking volunteers who selflessly devote their time and effort to ensure the event’s success year after year.

The Great Texas Balloon Race is a celebration of camaraderie and adventure.

Above all, the Great Texas Balloon Race embodies the spirit of adventure, community, and the joy of witnessing the magical sight of hot air balloons soaring through the sky, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

So, whether you are a balloon enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for an exciting and entertaining event, be sure to mark your calendar for the Great Texas Balloon Race and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring world of hot air ballooning.

Plan your visit, bring your family and friends, and get ready to be captivated by the breathtaking beauty of this incredible event. The Great Texas Balloon Race is a testament to the power of human ingenuity, the beauty of nature, and the indomitable spirit of the Lone Star State.


The Great Texas Balloon Race is an iconic event that offers a unique and thrilling experience for both participants and spectators. From the breathtaking sight of colorful hot air balloons filling the sky to the adrenaline-filled balloon races, this event has something for everyone. Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast, a photography lover, or simply looking for a fun-filled weekend, the Great Texas Balloon Race is not to be missed. So mark your calendars and get ready to witness the magic of hot air ballooning in the Lone Star State. See you at the next race!


1. What is the Great Texas Balloon Race?

The Great Texas Balloon Race is an annual hot air balloon race that takes place in Longview, Texas. It brings together balloon pilots from all around the country to compete in thrilling races and showcase their skills.

2. When does the Great Texas Balloon Race take place?

The race is typically held in late July or early August. The exact dates vary from year to year, so it’s best to check the official website or local event listings for the most up-to-date information.

3. Where does the Great Texas Balloon Race take place?

The race takes place at the East Texas Regional Airport in Longview, Texas. This spacious venue allows for a spectacular aerial display as the balloons take off and navigate through the skies.

4. How long does the Great Texas Balloon Race last?

The race itself lasts for several days, with events and activities taking place throughout the weekend. Visitors can enjoy balloon launches, races, tethered balloon rides, live entertainment, food vendors, and more.

5. Can I participate in the Great Texas Balloon Race?

Yes, the race is open to experienced balloon pilots who meet the necessary qualifications and have registered in advance. However, if you’re interested in getting up close to the action, spectators are also welcome to attend and enjoy the festivities.

6. Are there any restrictions or guidelines for attending the Great Texas Balloon Race?

While attending the event, it’s important to follow the guidelines provided by the organizers. These may include rules regarding parking, admission, photography, and interacting with the balloon pilots and crew. It’s also advisable to check for any health and safety protocols, especially in light of current circumstances.

7. Are there any other attractions or events during the Great Texas Balloon Race?

Apart from the hot air balloon races, the event often features live entertainment, food vendors, arts and crafts booths, amusement rides, and other family-friendly activities. It’s a great opportunity to experience the local community and enjoy a memorable weekend.

8. Are tickets required to attend the Great Texas Balloon Race?

Yes, tickets are typically required to attend the event. The ticket prices may vary depending on the day and the type of access you desire. It’s advisable to purchase tickets in advance to secure your spot and avoid any last-minute hassles.

From record-breaking flights to breathtaking night glows, the Great Texas Balloon Race offers an unforgettable experience for balloon enthusiasts and families. This annual celebration of camaraderie and adventure showcases vibrant balloon designs, supports local charities, and provides fun activities for all ages. Longview, Texas has been home to this iconic event since 1978, attracting participants from across the United States. If you're curious about other fascinating aspects of Longview's rich history, be sure to explore the historic events and moments that have shaped this charming city. Get ready to be captivated by the stories and legends that make Longview truly unique.

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