5 Years Ago: Big Tex Destroyed by Fire

It may seem hard to believe, but it's been five years since the iconic greeter of the State Fair of Texas, Big Tex, burned to the ground before a crowd of stunned fair goers.

An "unspecified electrical short" was eventually blamed for causing the spark that ignited the 52-foot-tall, 60-year-old towering cowboy, leaving behind only a steel frame and the two sleeves of his Dickies Western-wear shirt.

Attendees at the State Fair of Texas react to the destructive fire that burnt through the iconic Big Tex.

His 75-gallon hat, 50-pound belt buckle, jeans, boots and face, all destroyed by fire.

It didn't take the State Fair of Texas long to begin plans to replace the icon, though plans for the new Big Tex were shrouded in secrecy.

Big Tex Through the Years

After being constructed in San Antonio, the new Big Tex was secretly driven to Fair Park where it was installed in a reconstructed plaza under a drape -- the plan being to reveal Tex's new look the day the fair opened to the public.

Mother Nature had other plans, a strong wind spoiled the surprise and whisked away the ornamental covering being used to keep Tex hidden until his debut.

Big Tex catches fire and is destroyed while welcoming visitors to the State Fair of Texas.

The new Big Tex, now 4 years old, boasts and even stronger steel frame, a fire suppression system and fire-retardant duds (lesson learned); he's also got a moving arm in addition to the moving mouth. He's taller, at 55 feet, and weighs 19,000 pounds more than his predecessor, bringing him to a total of 25,000 pounds.

Dallas design firm Studio Outside released renderings of the plans that show a limestone seating wall surrounding the center ring where Big Tex will stand. The rendering depicts the Big Tex’s old design — his new look will be revealed later this year.

Big Tex Catches Fire: Your Photos

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