Big Tex | KERA News

Big Tex

State Fair of Texas

The State Fair of Texas is underway at Fair Park. For nearly 65 years, Big Tex, the giant cowboy, has stood over the fair, greeting visitors.  Here’s a history lesson.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Thousands of Longhorns and Sooners are already streaming into town for Texas-OU weekend. The Red River Showdown kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday.

If you can’t afford a ticket to the Cotton Bowl, clever folks at the State Fair of Texas can still have a lot of fun on the cheap.

State Fair of Texas

Big Tex is one of the most iconic features of the State Fair of Texas. It’s been dubbed the quirkiest landmark in the country, after all. The oversized cowboy just became a little more awesome in this video.

State Fair of Texas

Five stories that have North Texas talking: get ready for a more active Big Tex this year, a woman says Jerry Jones paid her to keep quiet about sexual assault, a country music DJ has written a song to RadioShack, and more.

Pablo Arauz Pena / KERA News

The country’s “quirkiest landmark” is back. Big Tex made his annual reappearance today in Fair Park. The 55-foot cowboy sported a brand new navy shirt with red pockets and white stars, a flipped color palette from last year, and tailored boots and jeans.

Bill Bragg / Facebook

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Bill Bragg still wants to be the voice of Big Tex; a woman has sued Jerry Jones, accusing him of sexual assault; the Texas ag commissioner isn’t pleased with one school’s meatless Mondays; and more.

American Airlines

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Orbitz and American Airlines end their business relationship, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science scores a mammoth donation, the purchasing power of $100 in Texas, and more.

State Fair of Texas

Big Tex has some new big duds. The State Fair of Texas on Tuesday morning unveiled new clothes for its iconic cowboy.

R. Snow / Ocearch.org

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Tracking Katharine the shark; Big Tex is America’s quirkiest landmark; Phil Collins is making a big donation to the Alamo; and more.

State Fair of Texas

Big Tex, the beloved but odd State Fair of Texas icon, has been named the country’s quirkiest landmark. 

After four weeks of online voting, the larger-than-life cowboy earned the most votes in the USA Today and 10Best "Best Quirky Landmark" contest. The winner was announced Wednesday. 

State Fair of Texas

Visitors to this year’s State Fair of Texas spent $37.2 million on food, amusement rides and other fun.

That made for a strong year, and better than last year, but just short of the 2010 record of $37.3 million.

Bill Fletcher

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Marking the one-year anniversary of the Big Tex fire, Rangers great Nolan Ryan leaves the team, lots of art in Dallas this weekend, and more:

BJ Austin / KERA News

This year’s State Fair of Texas is all about Big Tex and his triumphant return after last year’s fire. The Hall of State features the exhibit The Life and Times of Big Tex.  And this year’s butter sculpture features the iconic cowboy. 

Eric Aasen / KERA News

While most of the attention today is on the new Big Tex, his home at Big Tex Circle has received significant upgrades. The State Fair of Texas spent about $600,000 on foundation improvements to support the new guy, as well as on beautification at Big Tex Circle.

BJ Austin / KERA News

Eric Aasen, KERA’s new digital news editor, spent five years covering the State Fair for The Dallas Morning News – and, for the past year, he had exclusive access to Big Tex’s reconstruction. His series of stories about the process started in the Morning News today and will run through the weekend.

Our definitive Big Texpert has rounded up a few key facts about the towering cowboy:

BJ Austin / KERA News

When it comes to Big Tex, all secrets can now be revealed.

R. Eddy Snell and Karen L. Miller have had to keep a big secret for the past year – perhaps the biggest secret in the state of Texas. The State Fair of Texas hired them and their group, SRO Associates, to create the new Big Tex. 

SRO is a production company near San Antonio. The company has built sets and created entertainment for several theme parks across the country, including SeaWorld, Six Flags and Hershey Park. But SRO got a lot of help from San Antonio-based Texas Scenic Company to build his interior steel structure, as well as program his movements.

BJ Austin / KERA News

Big Tex is back.

Tex, the folksy cowboy who burned down last fall at the State Fair of Texas, was unveiled prematurely Thursday, a day earlier than planned.

He’s brand new from head to toe, showing off a bright white shirt and fancy boots that show off bluebonnets and other classic Texas scenes.

BJ Austin / KERA News

Update 5:55 p.m.: State Fair of Texas organizers had long been concerned about weather conditions and how that might impact Big Tex's debut. While Big Tex has been built to withstand hurricane-force winds, the curtain that shielded him from public view was causing problems. Fair officials didn't want to risk any issues with their new cowboy.

1:46 p.m. The Big Tex boots, sponsored by Lucchese, include the Texas flag, bluebonnets and Texas State Capitol. These are intricate, fancy boots.

1:39 p.m. Big Tex has made his debut -- a patriotic outfit with a mostly-white shirt. The curtain was dropped minutes ago.

Shutterstock

Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park on Friday. (If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re offering a daily online look at All Things Big Tex until Friday.

In today's edition of Big Tex 101, we take a look at some odd odds and ends.

Let’s admit it: Big Tex is an odd duck. He has a colorful history, too. Let’s take a look back at some of the more unusual things that have happened to him.

BJ Austin / KERA News

The State Fair of Texas opens Friday.   This year’s theme is “The One & Only” and the star will be Big Tex, making a return after catching fire last year.

Shutterstock

Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park on Friday. (If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re offering a daily online look at All Things Big Tex until Friday.

In today's edition of Big Tex 101, we take a look at Big Tex, the fashion icon.

Christian Bradford/greychr / Flickr

Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park on Friday. (If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re offering a daily online look at All Things Big Tex until Friday.

In today's edition of Big Tex 101, we take a look at his final hours -- and some video tributes.

State Fair of Texas

Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park on Friday. (If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re offering a daily online look at All Things Big Tex until Friday.

In today's edition of Big Tex 101, we explore Big Tex's roots in a small town.

Before Big Tex was Big Tex, he was a Santa Claus in Kerens, about an hour south of Dallas in Navarro County.

Eric Aasen / KERA News

Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park on Friday. (If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re going to offer a daily online look at All Things Big Tex each day until next Friday.

In today's edition of Big Tex 101, we offer you an up-close-and-personal look at his new home.

Brandi Korte/ladybugbkt / Flickr

Big Tex, the beloved State Fair of Texas icon, returns to Fair Park Sept. 27 -- next Friday.

(If you’ve been under a rock lately, the big guy burned down last October in spectacular fashion, attracting national headlines.)

Before Big Tex makes his triumphant return, we’re going to offer a daily online look at All Things Big Tex each day until next Friday.

Programming note: Eric Aasen, KERA's digital news editor who's a Big Tex expert, will talk about Big Tex around 12:20 p.m. today on KERA's "Anything You Ever Wanted To Know" with host Jeff Whittington. That's on KERA Radio, 90.1 FM. 

Big Tex Gets A New Voice

Jun 20, 2013
BJ Austin / KERA News

Big Tex has a new voice. The State Fair’s Sue Gooding confirms the selection from 111 applicants. 

BJ Austin / KERA News

Big Tex is beginning to look like himself again after fire destroyed the State Fair icon last October.

BJ Austin / KERA News

The new and improved Big Tex will also have a different voice when he debuts at the State Fair in September.

VIDEO: As Big Tex Regenerates, A First Look

Feb 26, 2013
State Fair of Texas

There's a huge amount of work to be done before the new Big Tex debuts September 27 , 2013. But a 3-D animated plan for the icon's new hands makes the prospect of his reappearance seem more real.

Howdy, Folks. Got Some Money For Big Tex?

Dec 27, 2012
Lyndsay Knecht / KERA News

The State Fair has set up a donation page online for Big Tex's repair.

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