Longview is a city spread between Harrison County and Gregg County in Texas. This city is considered to be the commercial hub for the Longview Metropolitan Statistical Area and is one of its principle cities. With a population of approximately 77,000 people, Longview has a has a majority population led by Whites, Hispanics, Native Americans, African Americans, Pacific Islanders and Asians respectively.
The Longview sports scene is quite different and unusual. Apart from the regular collegiate sports of football, volleyball, Baseball, golf, softball, soccer and other varsity games, they host a number of annual events that range from boat races, balloon races, motorcycle rallies, athletic events. All these events take place through the year and celebrate some aspect of sports combined with their culture.
In the month of January the East Texas Boat, RV and Camping Expo takes place. This three day event is held on the last week of January each year. The foundation of this event was laid by the owners of Longview Marines, Gene Brady and Dale Clark and has been active since 1982. This expo brings RV’s, yachts, boats and motorcycles, ATV’s from all across East Texas under one roof drawing almost over 10,000 attendees each year.
Another major attraction in this area is the Annual Memorial Day Motorcycle rally. This rally brings individual bikers and motorcycle riders and such clubs from all over Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. This event started in 2006 and has been a major attraction in this area. The event includes many bike games, a bikers show, music and parades and the big attraction called the Teresi Dyno-Drag. In this interactive event, bikers test their skills in racing and find out how fast they can really go in a quarter mile stretch.
One of the most exciting festivals that take place in Longview is the Alley Fest which is held at the onset of summer. This fest began in 1978 and hosts and art show, a music festival, a food contest and a marathon run which is a 1 mile, 5K and 10K course. The newest introduction to the fest has been the Kids Marathon run where children between the ages of 5 to 12 participate in a 25.2 miles run.
The most popular amongst all these is the Great Texas Balloon race that is held in the month of July each year at the East Texas Regional Airport. This event is considered as the “longest running hot-air balloon race in Texas”. This race began in 1978 during the launch of the Longview Mall as a giant celebration. It continued thereafter and has grown into a competitive event of world class standards. This event is said to attract world class hot air balloon pilots from all across the world and comprises of balloon fights and balloon glows. The added attraction of this event is to see how these balloons get inflated and operated. This is an event that is held in association with the North American Balloon Association and invites eighty special sport balloons.
The Longview News Journal is the main newspaper publication of this area and dates back to 187. This publication carries all the local news, sports and community information.