AT Photo/Gary Slade
DALLAS, Texas — On Friday morning, October 19, during the final weekend of the State Fair of Texas, Big Tex, the 52-foot tall icon, went up in flames. Witnesses said smoke began to appear around the neck of Big Tex as he was talking, then soon afterward flames started to appear. Before long the fabric covering Big Tex’s steel framework was completely enveloped in flames. By the time firefighters arrived to put out the fire, all that was left was a metal frame and some pieces of fabric forming the sleeves. Although an official cause has yet to be determined, it is likely the fire was electrical in nature.
Big Tex just celebrated his 60th birthday having first made an appearance at the fair in 1952. He wore size 70 boots, a 75-gallon hat, and a 50-pound belt buckle. The pants alone required 72 yards of denim and weighed almost 65 pounds.
By 1:00 p.m. the remains of Big Tex had been removed and that section of the Fair was reopened to the public. Fair officials have promised that Big Tex will return next year big and better than ever.