See related: Balloons Over the Pines
Longview’s 34th annual Great Texas Balloon Race festival and competition is July 27-29, 2012, on the GTBR festival grounds at the East Texas Regional Airport, 269 Terminal Circle. This year (and again in 2013 and 2014), Longview also hosts the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship (July 24-29, 2012).
Longview is in Gregg County, 125 miles east of Dallas. To reach the festival grounds from Interstate 20, go south on TX 149, turn right on TX 322, turn left on FM 349, and proceed to the entrance. For a detailed map, see www.gtbr.net.
Nationals events take place weekday mornings, beginning on Tuesday; watch for fly-bys during early-morning competitions over the Longview area. GTBR events—all of which are open to Nationals pilots—begin on Friday afternoon. GPS coordinates and target locations will be posted on the GTBR website below.
Besides balloon competitions, the festivities include balloon glows, live musical entertainment, a bounce house, midway rides, arts and crafts, and carnival-type foods and drinks. For schedules and admission fees, call the Longview Convention and Visitors Bureau at 903/753-3281, or visit www.gtbr.net.
From the July 2012 issue.