A new event called “Big Techs” will provide the public with behind-the-scenes tours of some of the industries that make Longview work. Held on Saturday, February 24, participants will have the opportunity to see how Komatsu builds the world’s largest front-end loader, how Eastman turns chemicals into products, how Neiman Marcus distributes goods around the world, and other cool technology that drives the industrial economy. As part of Industry Appreciation, Big Techs is a collaborative effort of the Longview Economic Development Corporation, the Longview Convention and Visitors Bureau, and several area industries.

 

Longview’s history and present are full of makers, builders, doers, and inventors. Ever since Longview was founded as a railroad town in 1870, industrious people have been making cool stuff in our corner of East Texas. That industrious culture grew with the East Texas Oil Boom of the 1930’s and the manufacturing necessity of World War II. Today, Longview companies continue that tradition, using modern technology to create, build, and distribute goods.

 

As part of Big Techs, free tours will be provided at AAON, Eastman, Holt Cat, Komatsu, and Neiman Marcus. Tour times vary throughout the day. Tour space is limited, so please register in advance. Age restrictions apply for some tours.

 

In addition to the factory tours, activities will be held in downtown Longview from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., including food trucks and special exhibits at Longview World of Wonders, Gregg County Historical Museum, and Longview Museum of Fine Arts. Downtown will also feature outdoor equipment displays from Boss Crane, Holt Cat, and the City of Longview. Downtown outdoor activities and Gregg County Historical Museum admission are free. $5 admission is required for Longview World of Wonders and Longview Museum of Fine Arts.

 

To participate in the free tours, please register online at VisitLongviewTexas.com. Please contact the Longview Convention and Visitors Bureau for more information at 903-753-3281.

 

AAON: 203 Gum Spring Rd.

 

50 minute tour times: 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m.

 

Texas is hot, but AAON products help keep us cool. AAON is engaged in the engineering, manufacturing, and marketing of air conditioning and heating equipment. Learn how AAON builds everything from commercial-sized air conditioners to geothermal/water-source heat pumps and coils. Must wear close-toed shoes and long pants. Facility is not heated; wear weather appropriate clothing.

 

Eastman: 300 Kodak Blvd.

 

50 minute tour times: 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m.

 

Eastman is a global advanced materials and specialty additives company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. From the film on your car’s windshield to the screen on your tablet, from baby bottles to passenger jets, from tires to attire, the world depends on products made from Eastman Chemical materials.

 

Holt Cat: 2210 Neiman Marcus Pkwy.

 

50 minute tour times: 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m.

 

Just about every child has taken apart a toy just to see if they could put it together. Now, imagine if you did that with a full size bulldozer? Come see how Holt Cat completely refurbishes large Caterpillar earth-moving equipment into like-new condition. Children are welcome with adult. Must wear closed toe shoes. Safety glasses will be provided.

 

Komatsu: 2400 S. MacArthur St.

 

80 minute tour times: 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:00 p.m.

 

When we say Big Techs, we do mean big. The world’s largest front-end loader is an earth-mover of massive proportion. The 2,300 horsepower machine weighs 560,000 pounds and features tires that are 14 feet tall. The bucket holds 80 tons of dirt, which is more than can fit in an 18-wheeler. Yet, this huge machine is fuel efficient utilizing a hybrid diesel / electric drive. 80 minute tour. Minimum age: 12.

 

Neiman Marcus Distribution Center, 2301 Neiman Marcus Pkwy.

 

50 minute tour times: 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m.

 

For over a century, Neiman Marcus has focused on serving the unique needs of the luxury market. Discover how Neiman Marcus uses modern technology to distribute upscale assortments of apparel, accessories, jewelry, beauty and decorative home products. Minimum age: 13. Must wear closed toe shoes. No cameras.

 

Downtown Activities:

 

10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Come-and-go. No registration required.

 

Hands-On STEM at Longview World of Wonders, 112 E. Tyler St. ($5 entry)

 

Map Tech at Gregg County Historical Museum. 214 N. Fredonia St. (Free)

 

Art Tech at Longview Museum of Fine Arts, 215 E. Tyler St. ($5 entry)

 

Plus: Food Trucks, giant crane from Boss Crane, Longview Fire ladder truck, more.