Big Tex Makes Debut With Tribute to Hurricane Harvey Victims

It's perhaps the best time of the year for many North Texans -- welcoming back Big Tex! Because that just means the State Fair of Texas is right around the corner.

At 55-feet tall and weighing 26,000 pounds, it took a team of more than 40 people to get North Texas' favorite cowboy dressed and ready for his big debut Friday.

Just to make his cowboy outfit, it took nine months -- and let's just say it really did take a village to put it all together.

The Texas Sky Ranger captures video of crews installing Big Tex one week before the official start of the State Fair of Texas.

"His pants weigh 100 pounds. It takes a team of five stitchers to actually move those pants through the machinery. When we have to do a check on how things are looking, we have to lay them out in the hallway because we don't have a space big enough to view everything," said Williamson-Dickie Director of Technical services Jill O'Leary.

This year, Big Tex is donning a particularly meaningful accessory.

"He is wearing a button this year, just below his Dickies logo, that says, 'Texas Strong.' Now this is to help bring attention to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. We are going to sell human-sized buttons, like the one I'm wearing right here, for only $2 out here at the fair. People can purchase them and all the proceeds of the sales will go to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts," said State Fair of Texas Vice President of Public Relations Karissa Condoianis.

Big Tex, the 55-foot-tall cowboy mascot, retakes his post as the official State Fair of Texas welcomer Friday morning.

Helping fellow Texans and celebrating all things Texas is what the State Fair is all about. And folks from all over DFW came out to be a part of that, including an 8-year-old boy from Fort Worth who took the day off from school just to see his favorite cowboy.

"I want to be like Big Tex because Big Tex is so cool. He's really cool," said Brody Balda.

Brody's mother, Kendal Brody, said he's been waiting more than a year to come and see Big Tex's installation.

"It's been on his bucket list, if you can have a bucket list at 8-years-old. It's a big day for him and I definitely took the day off for this exciting moment for him."

Watch the entire installation of Big Tex at Fair Park ahead of the State Fair of Texas, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017.

The week leading up to opening day, Big Tex's team will test his sound, electricity and movements to make sure he'll be ready to go for the 2017 State Fair of Texas, where he'll be standing tall and greeting Texans for three weeks.

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