Longview is a city spread between Harrison County and Gregg County in Texas. This city is considered to be the commercial hub with the Longview Metropolitan Statistical Area and it is considered one of its principle cities. With a population of approximately 77,000 people, Longview 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 unconventional. Apart from the regular college sports of football, volleyball, Baseball, golf, softball, soccer and other varsity games, they host several annual events that vary from boat races, balloon races, motorcycle rallies, athletic events. All these events take place throughout 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 occurs. This 3 day event is organised on the last week of January every year. The foundation of the event was laid by the people who own 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 across East Texas under one roof drawing almost over 10,000 attendees each year.
Yet another major attraction in this region would be the Annual Memorial Day Motorcycle rally. This rally brings individual bikers and motorcycle riders and such clubs coming from all over Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. This event began in 2006 and it has been a major attraction in this region. The big event includes numerous bike games, a bikers show, music and parades as well as the big attraction called the Teresi Dyno-Drag. During this interactive event, bikers test their abilities in racing to see how quickly they could really go in a quarter mile stretch.
One of the most interesting festivals that take place in Longview is the Alley Fest which is held at the start 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 5 to 12 take part in a 25.2 miles run.
The most popular among all these is the Great Texas Balloon race which 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 carried on thereafter and it has grown into a competitive event of world class standards. This event is said to draw in world class hot air balloon pilots from all across the world and consists of balloon fights and balloon glows. The added attraction of this event is to observe 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 the local news, sports and community information.