State Fair of Texas

State Fair Lifts Big Tex Into Place With 1 Week to Go Until Opening Day

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The State Fair of Texas will reopen its gates in just one week, and Big Tex is ready for his big debut.

The 55-foot man will be lifted by crane into his place at 'Big Tex' circle on Friday at 10 a.m.

The State Fair was cancelled in 2020, but Big Tex will show up this year with a face mask to greet thousands of fair-goers for a drive-thru food experience.

The 2021 State Fair will feature some key differences from years past. The fair is following the mask mandate in Dallas County, so masks will be required indoors.

Attendees don't have to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine, but the fair is offering vaccines on site. Those who get a vaccine will get $20 worth of fair coupons.

The public is welcome to watch Big Tex make his return on Friday morning at 10 a.m., but people are asked to practice social distancing and wear a mask in crowded areas.

Big Tex's skeletal structure was originally built in 1949 for a Christmas celebration in Kerens, Texas. After two years in the spotlight as the world's tallest Santa Claus, the Kerens Chamber of Commerce sold the figure to the State Fair of Texas for $750.

Dallas artist Jack Bridges was brought on board to transform Santa into Big Tex.

Big Tex made his State Fair debut in 1952, and after a little engineering, he "found his voice" in 1953. His wave was added in 1997, and three years later, he began to turn his head.

On October 19, 2012, Big Tex was destroyed by an electrical fire, the same year he celebrated his 60th birthday. He returned to the State Fair with a Texas-sized welcome back celebration held on September 27, 2013.

The 2021 State Fair of Texas will open on Friday, Sept. 24, and run through Sunday, Oct. 17.

Daily admission tickets are available now at For more information on the precautions currently in place for the State Fair of Texas, please visit

The State Fair of Texas is preparing for Opening Day with the installation of it’s chief welcomer — Big Tex.
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