June 28th - July 29th:
The Texas Shakespeare Festival, held annually in Kilgore, will open next week. Festival company members come from all over the country to be a part of the productions. This year's playlist include: The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Liar, Measure for Measure, Blood Brothers, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), and the children's play: The Quest for the Lost Chalice. Please visit the festival's webpage for tickets and show times.
The best celebration of the summer! Find your local fireworks display location, grab a dessert picnic, and salute our country. If you happen to be in Fort Hood, stop by Sadowski Field for a free concert with American Idol Kelly Clarkson and a 30 minute firework show. Attended by over 100,000 Texans annually, this Freedom Fest salutes our country and military. The festival grounds open at 1pm, with the concert beginning at 7:40pm.
July 27th - 29th:
The Great Texas Balloon Race will be held in conjunction with the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championships at the East Texas Regional Airport in Longview. This year's events will attract competitors from all over the U.S. and world. Advance tickets are $12 per adult each day and may be purchased online through Out House Tickets or locally at Brookshires. Ticket prices at the gate are $15. Children 12 and under are admitted free. There will be free admission on Sunday. Each evening, pending wind conditions, balloon pilots will participate in the yearly balloon glow. Locals can also "chase" balloons as they race across the city. This event provides for some amazing photo ops!