Sesquicentennial Ball drew record crowd to celebrate city’s history

Two years of planning culminated in a February party that drew between 1,200 and 1,300 guests to celebrate Longview’s 150th birthday.

Junior League of Longview hosted the event, which was organized by co-chairwomen Melanie Northcutt Crocker and Lori Danielson. Gov. Gregg Abbott, who spent part of his childhood in Longview, attended the black-tie celebration, where he described Longview as “the best city in America for a kid to grow up in.”

“I would not be living in the Governor’s Mansion now had I not lived and grown up in Longview, Texas, 50 years ago,” he said.

The ball was thought to be the largest event in the 35-year history of Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center.

The convention center was decorated with photos of Longview’s history, and the evening featured music, dancing and theatrical presentations of scenes from Longview’s past by Pine Tree and Longview theater students. Edible Art Specialty Cakes and Cookies provided a 6-foot-tall cake for the event.

In March, the spread of COVID-19 put the city’s sesquicentennial celebrations on hold. They could resume in May.

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