DALLAS — Happy Birthday, Big Tex!
Oct. 4 marks his 70th birthday after debuting as the beacon of the State Fair of Texas in 1952. Prior to donning the size 70 cowboy boots and 75-gallon hat, he sported a different set of boots and hat near Corsicana.
Prior to becoming "Big Tex," he looked over Kerens, Texas, as a very tall Santa Claus. Officials with the State Fair of Texas were able to negotiate buying the massive Santa Claus for $750.
Big Tex has welcomed fairgoers ever since, becoming one of the biggest traditions of the event year-in and year-out. Through the years, Big Tex went through some changes. His appearance has been tweaked. His wardrobe now changes every three years, and we've ran through his closet for a fit check.
Big Tex's importance to the State Fair of Texas has never been more felt than after his 60th birthday, when an electrical short caught one of his boots and pant leg on fire.
"And as we were going out, people were crying, they had their hands over their hearts. And that made a big impression on me right there that the people of Texas care about that big cowboy," Rusty Fitzgerald, the senior vice president of operations at the State Fair of Texas, told WFAA.
But, he persisted on. He returned the next year, rocking a 95-gallon hat, a new facelift and his Dickie's brand clothes which he's worn for the past 20 years.
What a loyal guy, eh?
Here's to 70, big guy.
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