Since 1952, Big TEX has welcomed visitors to the State Fair of Texas, the biggest state fair in the country where fair goers spend more than $21 million every year on food and rides alone..
Before Big Tex became Big TEX, he was a giant Santa Claus in Kerens, Texas, east of Corsicana.
This photo was taken in 1949. Two years later, the giant figure was purchased for 750 dollars by Dallas banker R.L. Thornton, then president of the State Fair of Texas and later mayor of Dallas. Dallas Artist Jack Bridges was hired to create a face for Big TEX, he used a combination of his own face, rancher Doc Simmons and Will Rogers.
Big Tex made his debut at the State Fair in 1952.
Here are some numbers on Big TEX
- He is 52 feet tall
- Weighs about 6,000 pounds
- Has a 75 gallon Stetson hat, that is 5 feet tall
- His belt is 23 feet long with a 50 pound buckle
- Ft Worth based Dickies made his clothes
- His shirt is 600 times larger than a store bought Dickies shirt
- His jeans have a 283 size waist, with a 56 inch fly
- His boots are size 70, and 7 foot 7 inches tall
In 2000, he began to wave at visitors for the first time. Over the years, 7 different men have voiced the voice of big Tex, the most recent is radio personality Bill Bragg.
It’s no coincidence that the Fletcher’s Corny Dog stand is right in front of this Dallas icon.
We stop here every year…..and have a corny dog.
In case you don’t know, a corny dog is a hot dog on a stick, dipped in corn meal batter and deep-fried till golden brown. They were first created on this very spot in 1942, and the Fletcher family still owns the company. Regular or jalapeno, both delicious…..lately I’ve been choosing jalapeno.
Last year, the unthinkable happened. An electrical fire caused Big Tex to engulf in flames………in the middle of the fair.
But none to worry,
This year he’s back, and better than ever. His mouth even moves when he talks.
We made a quick stop by the fair last weekend to say “Howdy”…….(that’s Big Tex’s line)
We even managed time for a corny dog…..with perfectly art-directed mustard.
…and we couldn’t miss the Crazy Mouse ride.
We buy this roller coaster picture every year….you can read about that here. and see all the previous years pictures.
That’s my brother Ben crammed in the car with us…..we invited him along to take pictures of us ,…….again