The State Fair of Texas begins in one week, but that can't happen until the fair's host is hoisted into his rightful spot at Fair Park.
Big Tex, the 55-foot-tall icon of the annual fair, was erected Friday morning and secured into place near the main entrance. Once upright, crews then slipped on his cowboy boots to complete his "Texified" makeover for the 2014 state fair.
Typically, Big Tex gets new duds every three years, but organizers wanted a more Texan shirt to complement this year's theme -- so the big guy got all new duds for 2014.
The changes to Big Tex are part of the "Texification" of The State Fair of Texas, where organizers are putting an emphasis on Texas pride and spirit. The Texification organizers speak of includes adding Texas-themed signage and flags throughout Fair Park as well as new floats, music and a nightly Lone Star-themed Starlight Parade.
"Big Tex's spiffy new duds will add a little bit more of a Texas touch, which fits in perfectly with this year's State Fair theme, "Deep in the Heart of Texans," fair organizers said in a news release. "As a symbol of Texas pride, it only makes sense that Big Tex's clothing reflects his true Texas colors."
The clothing wasn't all that was new about Big Tex. His eyes, normally open, were closed, leading many to believe some sort of animatronics have been added.
Big Tex's new shirt, and a pair of jeans, were laid out across the football field at Cotton Bowl Stadium last month. The new shirt is solid blue with red cuffs with a large red chevron that extends from the shoulder down to mid chest. On each chevron is a single, white Lone Star accented below by a thin, white bar. Below the chevron are blue chest pockets with red flaps.
The design varies slightly from 2013, when Big Tex wore a shirt with a white base with blue cuffs and red chest pockets with blue flaps. Above the chest pockets were red, white and blue chevrons adorned with a single star on each side.