'Tex's friend' or a 'Tall Texan'? State Fair asks for donations to rebuild Big Tex

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by BYRON HARRIS

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WFAA

Posted on December 27, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 27 at 7:21 PM

DALLAS – While it was certainly not the most tragic Texas fire of 2012, it may have been the most watched: Big Tex, engulfed in flames, the end result of an electrical short in his boot. 

On Thursday, the State Fair of Texas launched a website meant to generate donations to Tex's rebirth. See, the famous, mildly animatronic, 52-foot State Fair icon was insured –– but only for about one-third of the cost to replace him. 

Sue Gooding, State Fair spokeswoman, said his reconstruction will begin next month. A contract is already secured. 

"That was a surprise to me at how far-reaching and how many people knew about Big Tex and how many people have weighed in on wanting to see him back here," Gooding said. 

Become 'Tex's Friend' for $25. Or, for $1,000, become a 'Tall Texan.' It's really up to you. 

However, the Tex reboot will come with a fire retardant to prevent something like this occurring again. Reconstruction begins next month at a secret location. Then comes the ever-important clothes fitting. 

"We do have an appreciation for what Big Tex means to everyone," Gooding said. "He is a powerful marketing tool for the fair and you'll never take him for granted again. We will never take him for granted again." 

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