Hot air balloon festivals are a big thing in the United States. It is still a bucket list item for me that I haven't been able to do.
It first started getting big because of the one in Albuquerque. Around 828,800 people came in for the 2022 event. I am hoping this one will be just as big.
According to the Balloon Federation of America (BFA), Longview Texas is hosting the BFA U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship Monday, June 12th-Sunday June 18th, 2023.
The Great Texas Balloon Race will also take place from June 16th-18th in Longview. According to their website, there will be musical entertainment and also kids can enter the event for free. The 2023 headline is country artist Jon Wolfe.
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.
The Great Texas Balloon Race is a Balloon Federation of America event and hosted the BFA's United States National Championship competition for 2012-2015. The GTBR invites 50 sport and special-shaped hot air balloons. The pilots compete for the Texas State Championship.
Here is a look at last year's.
Hot Air Ballooning, Early 1900s
Here's How A Hot Air Balloon is Broken Down After It Lands