Iconic Giant Cowboy Catches Fire at Dallas Fairgrounds
A Dallas Fire-Rescue dispatcher described the excitement this morning at the State Fair of Texas as follows: “Got a rather tall cowboy with all his clothes burned off.” A few days after his 60th birthday, Big Tex, an iconic 52-foot statue at Dallas’ historic Fair Park, caught fire and was destroyed in about 10 minutes. Only his hands, metal frame and belt buckle remain. No one was in danger during the incident, which happened on the final day of the annual fair. A fair spokeswoman said the conflagration was the result of an electrical fire that started in Tex’s boot.
Big Tex has served as the symbol of the state fair since 1952 (in fact, the fair’s website is bigtex.com). With assistance from an announcer broadcasting in character from a nearby trailer, the motorized statue greeted guests and made announcements played throughout the park. The current voice of Big Tex, Bill Bragg, was reading from a script when he saw the flames. He told The Dallas Morning News it was “a very sad day” and “we were all just hoping that it would be a bad dream and we’d wake up and everything would be OK.” He also vowed Big Tex would be back, better than ever. dallasnews.com