Longview businesses raise town pride through unique art for 150th birthday

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LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – The Gregg County Historical Museum is celebrating Longview’s heritage in an uplifting way: hot air balloon sculptures!

The metal-made balloons are being installed around the city to continue celebrating Longview’s sesquicentennial, the 150th birthday of the town.

The sculptures stand at 5’6″ and are being purchased by local businesses to show town pride. Companies purchase a balloon from the museum and they are built by Modisette Welding.

Then the organizations design a look and commission an artist to bring their balloon to life before installation. Getting creative with their designs, the visuals vary from completely abstract looks to artwork that celebrates East Texas or their workplace.

“People just did really amazing things with their balloons, and they were super creative. And, you know, I know people were driving around seeing them and they probably have no idea the historical museum did the artistic project, but it is kind of cute and our name is on the side of the basket. But, it is kind of fun seeing them and seeing how well they took off.”

Lindsey Loy

This started as a unique fundraising opportunity for the museum, but has now turned into a staple of art for Lobo Nation.

The cost for one of the permanent structures is around $3,000 with the first two grand to help build the stature and the rest going toward upgrades for the museum.

Since the project’s start in 2019, almost 30 balloons have been sold and installed.

The Historical Museum is hoping to continue getting balloons out into the community for years to come. So if you want to be a part of Lobo history while also celebrating it, visit www.gregghistorical.org

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