Great Texas Balloon Race 2020 is Canceled Due to COVID-19

Great Texas Balloon Race officials have decided it is in the best interest of Gregg County, our sponsors, vendors, pilots, volunteers, and attendees to cancel the June 19-21st event.

This decision is not easy but necessary.  As our Country, County, and City continue to face uncertain times in the coming weeks, we feel it prudent to give our very loyal sponsors and supporters, Entertainment, Pilots and Special Shape balloons a decision now rather than later.  Given the circumstances, we feel being proactive is in the best interest of our community. 

The GREAT TEXAS BALLOON RACE 2020 pilots come from across the United States and England.  Food and Arts & Crafts vendors, the carnival and other attractions travel in from near and far.  The restaurants that so generously provide meals to the pilots, sponsors and volunteers are struggling during this crisis; donations moving forward will only add to their burdens.  Volunteers who manage the event take vacation to do so; those vacation days will not be available when this crisis is over.  This decision best protects and supports everyone concerned.  We can not in all good conscience ask our community and local businesses to give anything right now.   

The greatest way to honor the integrity and rich heritage of GREAT TEXAS BALLOON RACE is to be fiscally responsible moving forward.  We are confident our sponsors will stand with us, the pilots will return, the vendors will come back, and the community will once again enjoy the GREAT TEXAS BALLOON RACE next year if we are fiscally responsible now. 

Negotiations are progressing with the outstanding Entertainment lineup for 2020 to recommit to the June 18-20,2021 event.  GREAT TEXAS BALLOON RACE officials are in the process of contacting all partners to carry their commitments forward in the same manner. 

The Great Texas Balloon Race pilots are the best of the best and compete at events year-round.  There is no open weekend in 2020 to reschedule the event.  Any tickets already purchased on Outhouse will be refunded. 

Great Texas Balloon Race appreciates the support of Judge Bill Stoudt and the County Commissioners, and Mayor Andy Mack for their continued support and counsel in making this decision.  Great Texas Balloon Race is the oldest annual event in our community and will be back strong in 2021.  We stand ready to support our community through this pandemic.

Rhonda Bullard, GTBR Chairman

June 18, 2021

Welcome to the Great Texas Balloon Race website

It's a world class event attracting the very best competitive pilots from across the United States and the world.

Considered by many of the pilots that compete at the Great Texas Balloon Race to be the best run event on the circuit, the Great Texas Balloon Race earned Longview the official designation as "The Balloon Capital of Texas" by the Governor of Texas in 1985.

In 2013 Gregg County was proclaimed "The Balloon Race Capital of Texas" by the 83rd Texas Legislature.

Balloon flights begin Friday morning with a flight over the City of Longview and continue each morning through Sunday over the East Texas Regional Airport. Launch and landing sites change each day as they are always determined by wind and the weather.

Balloon Glows on Friday and Saturday night entertain crowds with an awesome display of color and excitement. It's one of the most popular things to do at the event as the public is able to get up close and watch how balloons are inflated and operate.

Live concerts Friday and Saturday nights following the Balloon Glow extend the entertainment into the late night.

Kids Land is a safe restricted area for children that requires a small separate entry fee. Activities and attractions differ from year to year but it is always a fun time. Vendors display their arts, crafts and other merchandise in booths lined up along an improvised midway.

Food Vendors make sure there is always enough to eat and drink during the day and evening.

The Great Texas Balloon Race Story

In 1978, the Great Texas Balloon Race was born from an agreement between Dr. Bill Bussey, D.D.S., a world-record hot air balloon pilot, and Frankie Parson Riggins and Mary LeTourneau, Longview Mall managers.

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020 Entertainment Schedule

Friday, June 19th - Faren Rachels and Little Texas

Saturday, June 20th - Cody Wayne Band and Whiskey Myers

The 2020 event is canceled. We look forward to seeing you in 2021.

For the 2021 event, tickets will also be available at East Texas area Brookshires and Super 1 Foods closer to the Event date.

Weekend passes will be available online!

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