June 18-20, 2021
*There are no
ticketed events this year.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to the pilots, officials, sponsors, board members, volunteers and spectators for a fantastic 44th Great Texas Balloon Race! We were able to fly all three days of competitive flights, and we had some amazing competition. We will begin in the coming weeks to start planning the 2022 event, and we hope to see you all there next June.
About this year's Great Texas Balloon Race
Prepare yourselves. It’s almost balloon time.
The official flights begin Friday morning, but you’re likely to see balloons in the skies over Longview even before then.
We hope you are getting excited for even more chances this year to see the colorful balloons flying overhead. We have planned five different official flights over the city.
Competition flights (weather permitting!) are scheduled each morning this Friday through Sunday. All of the competition flights this year will be on paths over Longview. Each flight will begin at about 7 a.m. Check our Facebook page and website on those mornings to be sure the balloons are flying and to find the target locations, which are a great place from which to watch the balloons. And you might also see some flying Wednesday and Thursday morning.
We had to cancel our entertainment events this year along with the balloon glow. So, there are no events at the East Texas Regional Airport; however, we will have added flights on the evenings of Friday and Saturday. Not a morning person but still want to see the balloons fly? We’ve got you covered! These non-competition flights (weather permitting!) will involve all of our pilots. That’s about 60 balloons! They are set to start at 7 p.m. both nights on paths over the city.
We have adjusted our plans this year to emphasize the flight aspect of the Great Texas Balloon Race, and we’re looking forward to seeing your smiling faces ... soon!
Welcome to the Great Texas Balloon Race
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.
Competitive balloon flights are scheduled for the mornings of Friday through Sunday over Longview. Non-competition flights are planned for the afternoons of Friday and Saturday over Longview. Launch and landing sites change each day as they are always determined by wind and the weather.
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.
No live entertainment in 2021
To keep the Great Texas Balloon Race safe this year, we will not have events at the East Texas Regional Airport. However, we will return strong with our full event schedule in 2022.
No ticketed events this year
For the 2021 event, there will be no ticketed events. Balloon flights will take place over Longview on the mornings of June 18 through 20 and in the afternoon on June 18 and 19.
There will be no flights or activities at the East Texas Regional Airport.