UL Live




LeTourneau Car Show

The LeTourneau University Automotive Society presents its annual Car Show with proceeds benefiting missions around the world.

LeTourneau Car Show

Zonta Antiques Show and Sale

A perennial favorite for antique hunters of all stripes, this event typically draws jewelry, carpet, and furniture vendors to the Maude Cobb Convention Center. One of the longest running antiques shows in East Texas, it also hosts a tearoom and its famous Pie Bar. Sponsored by the Zonta Club of Greater East Texas.


Chautauqua Fest

The Longview Public Library hosts this free event celebrating diverse culture with music, performances, local authors, artists, and artisans.

Dalton Days

A family-friendly event recapturing the drama and nail-biting frenzy of one of Longview’s most iconic pages of history, the infamous bank heist by the Bill Dalton Gang. Recreated on a blocked-off portion of Fredonia Street, and coupled with a fair-styled afternoon of activities, Dalton Days brings the bang and pop excitement that professional actors create when putting Longview citizens in peril, and all straight from local history.

GCHM Dalton Days

Harvest Festival Crawfish Boil

Each year at the Maude Cobb Convention Center, the Crawfish Boil brings thousands of people together for music and amazing food. The Crawfish Boil, a fundraiser for the Harvest Festival livestock show and sale in October, provides scholarships to area 4H and FFA students.

Downtown Longview Wine Swirl

Define a perfect Spring Saturday: strolling through Downtown Longview, sampling wines from across East Texas and beyond, listening to live music, and shopping from unique local vendors.

Downtown Longview Wine Swirl

PRCA Rodeo

The Greggton Rotary Longview PRCA Rodeo is one of the hottest tickets in town. Fans say it’s one of the most popular bull-riding, calf-roping, bareback-riding, saddle-bronc-riding, stick-horse-racing, clown-dodging rodeos ever to stir up dust at the Longview Rodeo Arena. The Rotarians say it’s just good, family fun. The Longview (Greggton) Rotary hosts this annual spring-time event to the delight of rodeo fans of all ages, and, as their primary fundraiser, allows the Rotary to give back $30,000 – $50,000 to the community in support of local non-profit organizations.


Cinco De Mayo

Celebration of Hispanic music, food, vendors, and performances all located within the beautiful Longview Arboretum gardens.



Great Texas Balloon Race

Gregg County is the Balloon Race Capital of Texas because this world-class event attracts the best competitive balloon pilots from across the United States and around the world. During the third weekend in June, balloons will fill the skies over Longview on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and then concerts, a balloon glow, and entertainment will thrill crowds on Friday and Saturday night. This world-class competition features sport and special shaped balloons and covers a three-day weekend every summer.

The Great Texas Balloon Race was founded by local dentist Dr. Bill Bussey in 1977. Dr. Bussey has held many balloon world records and was inducted into the National U.S. Ballooning Hall of Fame, the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Ark-La-Tex Sports Museum of Champions. Ballooning has become a beloved part of the Longview community and local pilots can been seen flying over Longview on any given morning throughout the year.

In conjunction with their annual event, The Great Texas Balloon Race is also hosting three consecutive U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship events starting in 2023. Yet another great opportunity to watch some of the finest pilots in the world compete.

Juneteenth Celebration & Dance

A parade, a dance, and a rodeo are among the many fun activities planned each June for this historic occasion.

Longview Pride Festival

An annual LGBTQ+ festival in June, the event features music, vendors, and activities.


Fireworks & Freedom Celebration

Enjoy amusement rides, live music, food and beverages, vendors, and a variety of other entertainment. Festivities take place throughout the day with a gigantic fireworks show set to patriotic music beginning at dark.

Longview Kennel Club Competition

Dog breeds from 38 states, Mexico, and Canada compete in the two-day Longview Kennel Club License All Breed Dog Show at the Maude Cobb Convention Center. This exciting and well-mannered, AKC-sanctioned event is great entertainment for children and adults.

Texas Shakespeare Festival

Located just a stone’s throw from Longview’s city limits is one of the nation’s premiere summer Shakespeare festivals hosted by Kilgore College. This renowned summer tradition brings a variety of high caliber stage productions and gifted actors to a local platform. From The Queen’s Tea to meet and greets with the actors, this is a fun and affordable departure from ordinary entertainment.

Texas Shakespeare Festival - Photo by John Dodd


Grape Stomp at Enoch’s Stomp

Help harvest and stomp grapes, plus enjoy music, food, and contests during the annual Enoch’s Stomp Harvest Festival in late July and August.


Gregg County Fair

The Longview Jaycees host a week-long, old-fashioned county fair with carnival rides, games, music, petting zoos, cotton candy, and corny dogs. Always in mid-September, the cooler temperatures bring out families and everyone enjoys a variety of good clean fun.


Prost! Hosted by the East Texas Brewer’s Guild, this Oktoberfest-style event provides visitors the opportunity to enjoy unique and varied beers made by home-brewing enthusiasts. Held in September, the event also features music and food trucks.

Landmarks of Longview Tour

Every September, several homes and/or businesses of architectural significance are open to the public for a two-day tour benefiting the Gregg County Historical Museum. Always interesting, with a glimpse into the stories of many of the places distinctive to our local culture, the tour provides an opportunity for an easy day spent in homes that have, or will have, an impact on our community’s history.

Neal McCoy’s East Texas Angel Network Benefit Concert

Longview resident and country singing star, Neal McCoy, invites his celebrity friends to an annual September concert to raise funds for children with serious illness. Always an anticipated autumn event, Neal revs up the show with fun and good times and the result gives back to his fans, and ultimately to the children close to his heart.

Photo by Stefanie Yoder - Neal McCoy



Harvest Festival & Livestock Show

The largest show of its kind in East Texas, the Texas Cooperative Extension Office junior livestock show and sale is the highlight of the year for area 4H and FFA members.

Haunted Houses, Library, and Zipline With the Zombies

Every October Longview gets spooky with hair-raising activities at various venues like the Haunted Library, Graystone Haunted Manor, Doc Wilkes House of Horrors, and Thomas Falls Outdoor Adventures’ Zip-lining with the Zombies.

Barrels & Brews

Benefiting the East Texas Alzheimer’s Alliance, the festival showcases area wineries as well as music, food, and vendors.

Touch A Truck

Unique community event designed for children and adults to see, touch, learn, and interact with fascinating vehicles like fire trucks, cranes, dump trucks, school buses, helicopters, and more.


DÍa De Los Muertos

A celebratory festival and parade remembering loved ones. The event at Heritage Plaza in Downtown Longview features folkorico dances, face painting, children’s arts and craft, Latino-owned businesses, vendors, and food.

DÍa De Los Muertos - Photo by Dale Lessenberry

Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting

Longview celebrates the lighting of the Christmas tree with a visit from Santa Claus, holiday music, and other festivities.

Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting - Photo by Dale Lessenberry



Christmas in Downtown Longview 

The Gregg County Courthouse is transformed into a beautiful light display, a huge Christmas tree brightens Heritage Plaza, and special holiday events fill downtown. The Longview AMBUCS Christmas Parade proceeds through downtown on the first Thursday of December with an impressive fleet of floats, antique cars, marching bands, and the ever-popular hot air balloon torch glow.

Carmela’s Magical Santa Land

Located just north of Longview, Carmela’s Magical Santa Land offers a free drive-thru Christmas wonderland each year from November through early January. This light show extravaganza is spread across a beautiful 30-acre property and has quickly become an East Texas holiday favorite.


Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Community celebration featuring concert, parade, festival, and ecumenical service.


Big Techs

Longview has a long history of inventors, builders, and makers. Explore factories to see how the world’s largest front-end loader is built and learn about other amazing stuff made in Longview. Free tours are provided on this special weekend at industries throughout Longview and give participants a chance to look behind the scenes at the technology that makes our city work.

Freeze Your Fanny Bike Tour

This annual February bicycle tour is a fundraiser for Special Olympics and takes place no matter how cold the weather. Participants willingly “freeze their fannies” for bragging rights after they’ve completed the Tour-de-East-Texas. Also includes a 10K run which begins at Doris McQueen Primary School.


ArtWalk Longview

Several times a year, downtown Longview galleries and businesses stay open late, and exhibit art on the sidewalk, for an after-hours event designed to showcase local art and artisans. ArtWalk provides an urban environment where many retail stores prop open the front door and offer special purchases to complement the live music and restaurant hopping. It’s family and pet-friendly fun.

ArtWalk Longview

Downtown Live!

Heritage Plaza, in downtown Longview, is filled with music, beverages, food trucks, and lots of people on Friday nights in April, May, September, and October. This free music series is a family friendly event featuring some of the best regional talent in various music genres.

Downtown Live!

Historic Longview Farmer’s Market

Under white pop-up tents, regional and organic farmers offer vegetables, herbs, eggs, and specialty items for sale to the public. The HLFM holds a permanent station in the parking lot at High and Cotton Streets on a seasonal schedule. Starting early on Saturday mornings, the 7:30-11:30 a.m. schedule has at times included live music, cooking demonstrations, and crafts.

Downtown Longview Cruise Night

The first Saturday from April – November, you’ll find cool cars and trucks of all varieties gathered in Downtown Longview for a free cruise night. Admire the vehicles and then grab dinner or a beverage from one of your downtown favorites.

Parade of Homes

Presented by the East Texas Home Builders Association in May and November each year, this event showcases several beautiful new area homes. Visitors can learn about the latest home trends and admire the distinct craftsmanship presented by local builders.


Great Texas Balloon Race: National Competition Brings Dozens of Hot Air Balloon Pilots to Longview

By Christina Cavazos

Each summer, visitors and residents in Longview are invited to look up as nearly a hundred hot air balloons take to the skies above.

This year, the Great Texas Balloon Race will be back for its 47th year. From 2023-2025, Longview is also the site of the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship, the national competitive race hosted by the Balloon Federation of America. In 2024, there will also be an added day of flights as the national championship increases its competition days.

The U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship will be June 10-16, 2024, and the Great Texas Balloon Race will be June 14-16, 2024. The two events run concurrently but have different tasks for balloon pilots to complete.

Gai Bennett, who is co-chairing the 2024 event with Michelle Ford, said it is an honor for Longview to host the national event. The national competition was previously held from 2012 to 2015 in Longview.

“The Great Texas Balloon Race is an invitational race. Pilots must be invited because we want seasoned pilots who are very competitive,” Bennett explained. “Similarly, with the U.S. Nationals, pilots must have earned a certain ranking in the national eligibility point system. It’s kind of like NASCAR or the PGA. Pilots earn points for every competition. For the Nationals, they must earn a high ranking with that point system.”

The national championship brings the top fifty hot air balloon pilots in the nation to Longview.

“Historically, a lot of those nationally ranked pilots are always at the Great Texas Balloon Race anyway,” Bennett said.

The success of Longview’s event, she explained, is due to its reputation among the ballooning community and the hospitality shown to the visitors.

“The reputation of our competition keeps the pilots coming back for sure. In fact, in 2023 we had a visiting pilot from Switzerland. We have several world champion pilots who have always come to the Great Texas Balloon Race,” Bennett said. “The balloon race has a reputation of quality competition and hospitality.  We take care of our pilots. They do like to come to Longview.”

Because the two events run concurrently, pilots who participate in Nationals will not participate in the Great Texas Balloon Race, but more balloonists will join them when that competition begins. In 2019, the Great Texas Balloon Race also launched the Young Guns competition, an event open to pilots who are under the age of 29, have a balloon pilot license, and meet a minimum number of qualifying hours.

“Those pilots in the National Race will start flying competitively on Monday of that week and will fly through Sunday. The Great Texas Balloon Race pilots and the Young Gun pilots will join them in the competition flights on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,” Bennett said. “So for those last three days, competitions will run concurrently, but they’re scored differently.”

While all of the pilots will be in the air at the same time for the last three days, there are different tasks and a different scoring rubric for the different events.

In addition to the competitive flights, the Great Texas Balloon Race also features a festival on Friday and Saturday nights at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center. This year, the festival will take place on June 14-15, 2024.

The festival features entertainment, such as live music. A balloon glow is also held each evening, weather permitting. Pilots cannot inflate their balloons in certain weather, such as high wind or rain. That rule also applies to the daily competition flights themselves.

Started in 1978 by Dr. Bill Bussey, the Great Texas Balloon Race continues to be a signature event in Longview that brings much tourism to the city as people enjoy seeing the balloons. In fact, Gregg County was designated by the state Legislature as the “Balloon Race Capital of Texas” due to the success of the event.

“It’s really all about the balloons,” Bennett said. “I talk to people all the time who are just looking at the balloons and saying, ‘Oh, this is so lovely. This is beautiful.’ A lot of times they don’t even realize there’s a competition going on. These pilots are performing magnificent feats of navigation.”

Because of the success of the event, ballooning as a serious hobby has been passed down for several generations in Longview.

“It’s amazing to me. Dr. Bussey started this because he was a pilot, and he wanted to do something. We now have fourth generations of pilots in our area. We have young pilots under 30 here who are buying balloons and getting their licenses. And it’s because of the long history of this little event.”