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State Fair's Big Tex Burns Up in Fire

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Information about Big Tex:

Big Tex was the 52 foot tall icon of the annual State Fair of Texas held at Fair Park in Dallas.Big Tex made his debut at the 1952 fair. He was altered the following year to straighten his nose, correct a lascivious wink and allow him to talk. Former disc jockey Al Jones was the first voice of Big Tex, but would fill the role for only one season. His most familiar voice is that of radio announcer Jim Lowe, who boomed Big Tex's signature "Howdy, folks!" for a total of 39 years.

DALLAS -- Fire has destroyed Big Tex, leaving behind little more than the metal frame of the 52-foot-tall cowboy that's an icon of the State Fair of Texas.

Some material that made up the towering structure's hands and sleeves still could be seen as firefighters gathered around the scorched area Friday.

Big Tex's 75-gallon hat, 50-pound belt buckle and slow drawl have been greeting state fair visitors since 1952. This year's fair, which closes Sunday, had been celebrating Big Tex's 60th birthday.

Fair spokeswoman Sue Gooding says she doesn't know the cause of the fire but did note electrical controls move Big Tex's mouth and head. Gooding says no one was injured in the fire and added that she expects Big Tex to be back for next year's state fair.


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