Big Tex is back, signaling the imminent start of the much-anticipated State Fair of Texas.
The 55-foot-tall cowboy reassumed his iconic place at Fair Park for the 71st time on Friday morning.
This year, Big Tex is donning a fresh look with new size-96 boots built by the Lucchese Bootmaker Company.
The public got their first look at the latest kicks when the boots were installed on the fairgrounds last week, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
The design features a mesmerizing sunset behind a cactus, some bluebonnets, and quintessential Texas animals, such as longhorns, bats, jackrabbits, and butterflies. It was crafted by 23-year-old Irving artist Jessica Bonilla, who beat out hundreds of other contenders in last spring’s 2023 Big Tex Boot Design Contest.
As many might recall, Big Tex suffered an untimely demise back in 2012 after an electrical fire broke out and burned the statue down to its structural elements. Thankfully, Big Tex was born anew and three feet taller, as covered by The Dallas Express.
Even before his triumphant return, Big Tex held a special place in the hearts of fairgoers ever since he first debuted at the State Fair in 1952. Dallas artist Jack Bridges helped transform what had initially been built in 1949 (the world’s tallest Santa Claus) into the beloved symbol of Texan hospitality.
The circulation of Big Tex videos on social media has further helped cement his place at the heart of the fair.
On TikTok, #bigtex has already generated over 58 million views. The number will probably grow in the coming weeks.
This year, the State Fair of Texas’ gates will open on September 29, promising many activities, entertainment, and delightful experiences for visitors of all ages.
As recently covered by The Dallas Express, there are several advantages to visiting the fair early on, including beating the crowds and getting a photo with Big Tex that is not ruined by a bunch of people in the background.
Last year, the State Fair had a record-breaking number of attendees, with over 2.5 million people, a 15.65% increase over 2021.
Be sure to check out some of the happenings before the event winds down on October 22 and Big Tex is tucked away for his yearly rest.