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“Big Tex” Will Rise Again!

Big Tex was destroyed by a fire, but he will be back! That’s the word from State Fair Execs in Texas.

big tex
AP photo

The 52-foot tall cowboy, Big Tex was destroyed by fire on Friday, but he will be rebuilt. He’s been the iconic figure at the State Fair of Texas for 60 years. Organizers are already planning to rebuild.

Facts about Big Tex

1949    Conceived as a 52 foot tall “Santa Claus” on November 10th, 1949; to bolster the Christmas shopping business in Kerens, Texas in Navarro County.

1950    After the 1950 Christmas season, the novelty wore off, and the 52 foot giant was transported 60 miles to Dallas, Texas and sold to The State Fair of Texas for $750.00.   

1952    The statue was transformed into a giant Cowboy, his name was changed; and the character BIG TEX was born.  The big guy made his debut in late October of that year; as the official symbol of the State Fair of Texas! 

1953    BIG TEX talks for the first time!  Over the years, six (6) different persons have performed the voice, but the most remembered voice was that of Jim Lowe.  Mr. Lowe was a pioneer broadcaster in Dallas, and had the top rated morning radio show on WRR-AM for many years.  BIG TEX says “H-O-W-D-Y” about 60 times a day during the State Fair each year.

1997    The original body was rebuilt and now includes a cage-like skeleton with 4,200 feet of steel rods.

2000    BIG TEX was able to move for the first time, and began to wave to the millions of State Fair visitors who passed by each year on their way to the famous “Million Dollar Midway”.

2002    BIG TEX turned 50, got an all new wardrobe and a new voice. 

VITAL STATISTICS

HEIGHT:        52 Feet

WEIGHT:       6,000 Pounds

HAT:                75 Gallon, measuring 5 feet high

SHIRT:            The Williamson-Dickie Company will cover TEX’s 30 foot chest with a shirt that has a 100 inch neck and 181 inch long sleeves.  This is 600 times larger than the shirts they sell in the stores.  The buttons are 3 and a half inches in diameter and the shirt contains 70 yards of blue denim and 80 yards of awning material.  It took 2 weeks and a team of 8 workers to make the shirt at the Dickies work-ware plant in Fort Worth, Texas. 

BELT:            23 feet long, with a 50 pound buckle

PANTS:        Size 284W x 185L.  The rivets are 3 and a half inches in diameter, the inseam is 200 inches, the fly is 56 inches long and his pants weigh a total of 65 pounds.  And, the Dickies’ folks worked a week to sew the new pants. 

BOOTS:        Size 70, measuring 7 foot 7 inches high

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