DALLAS The Monday before the opening day of the State Fair of Texas is usually the day Big Tex is revealed to fairgoers, but that's not happening this year.
A fire sparked by an electrical malfunction brought the Fair Park icon to the ground during the 2012 fair. Cell phone video from viewers showed flames reaching far above Tex, ultimately reducing him to a wire frame.
'I overheard someone say that they didn't know that Big Tex smoked,' recalled State Fair spokeswoman Sue Gooding. 'It almost looked like theatrical smoke. I looked up at him and there were little puffs of smoke escaping from his shirt neckline.'
The new Big Tex will be revealed September 27 at 2 p.m. Organizers say he will come back bigger and stronger than ever, standing three feet taller and about 20,000 pounds heavier.
The added weight will mean Tex can now stand without the help of support cables.
'Big Tex cost $500,000 to rebuild, so he really is a half-a-million dollar man,' Gooding said.