State Fair says ‘howdy’ to new Big Tex


By Christina Burke
Managing Editor

Photo by Gabby Sahm.

As Texans, we know that everything is bigger and better in Texas. This includes our renowned State Fair of Texas. The Fair is known nationwide for its wild rides and fascinating fried foods, but perhaps the most interesting attribute is a certain cowboy whose size 70 boots have been kickin’ since 1952.

Big Tex is a legend within the borders of Texas and beyond. Every fair-goer for the last 61 years has been generously greeted by the 50-foot cowboy. However, on Oct. 19, 2012, Big Tex’s birthday celebration quickly escalated into chaos, as baffled onlookers watched the cowboy burn to the ground due to faulty mechanical wiring. However, Texans were not about to let Big Tex end like this.

“I was really unfortunate to hear about how Big Tex burned down last year,” senior Jenna Ling said. “He was an important part of Texas history, but it is cool to see that they [rebuilt] him bigger and better.”

Big Tex is not just a mechanical figure to some Texans. For senior Reagan Shaffer and her family, he is part of an important tradition.

“When the state fair comes around, my dad finds a day that he can take off and we all go to the State Fair. We’ve been doing this since I was in elementary school,” Shaffer said. “It was sad to see the old [Big Tex] burndown because my family loved taking pictures in front of him.”

Despite devastation, it was quickly announced by the State Fair that Big Tex was to be reconstructed for the 2013 Fair season, and he would return bigger and better than ever. On Sept. 26, the new Big Tex was revealed to the public before the Fair’s official opening day on Sept. 27.

Now a whopping 55-foot tall, Big Tex has an updated wardrobe and a 95-gallon hat. Big Tex is also conveniently fire resistant now.

“It will be exciting to see the new [Big Tex] because technology has come such a long way,” Shaffer said. “I’m excited to see how improved he is. The State Fair would not be the same without Big Tex saying ‘howdy, folks.’”

The State Fair of Texas is open until Oct. 20 with plenty of fun, food and family oriented activities. Be sure to stop by on Coppell Independent School District Fair Day on Oct. 14 for endless entertainment and a chance to wave hello to the new and improved Big Tex.