Longview is a city spread between Harrison County and Gregg County in Texas. This city is regarded as the commercial hub with the Longview Metropolitan Statistical Area and is considered one of its principle cities. With a population of approximately 77,000 people, Longview features 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 college sports of football, volleyball, Baseball, golf, softball, soccer as well as other varsity games, they host a number of annual events that vary from boat races, balloon races, motorcycle rallies, athletic events. All these events happen through the year and celebrate some aspect of sports coupled with their culture.
From the month of January the East Texas Boat, RV and Camping Expo takes place. This 3 day event is held around the last week of January every year. The building blocks of the event was laid by the owners of Longview Marines, Gene Brady and Dale Clark and it has been active since 1982. This expo brings RVs, yachts, boats and motorcycles, ATVs from all of across East Texas under one roof drawing almost over 10,000 attendees each year.
Another significant attraction in this region would be 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 began in 2006 and has been an important attraction in this area. The big 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 abilities in racing to see how quickly they can really go in a quarter mile stretch.
One of the most exciting festivals that take place in Longview would be the Alley Fest which is held at the onset of summer. This fest began in 1978 and hosts an 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 famous among all these is the Great Texas Balloon race that is held in the month of July every year at the East Texas Regional Airport. This event is regarded 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 considered to attract world class hot air balloon pilots from all around the globe and consists of balloon fights and balloon glows. An added attraction in this event is always to see how these balloons get inflated and handled. It is an event which 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 goes back to 187. This publication carries all of the local news, sports and community details.