“Got a rather tall cowboy with all his clothes burned off.” The announcement came over Dallas Fire-Rescue dispatch, according to the Dallas Morning News. Big Tex is a 52-foot cowboy who has towered over the State Fair of Texas in his 75-gallon cowboy hat, welcoming visitors for 60 years. The fiberglass fella was destroyed by what appears to have been an electrical fire inside his voice box, and now stands with his iron skeleton bare.
A staple photo opp for State Fair visitors from around the world, Big Tex was featured in a 2004 episode of “King of the Hill.” In the episode, Hank Hill tells son Bobby, “Look son, there’s Big Tex. He’s like the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty rolled into one.” Luann Platter later climbs the cowboy in protest when Hank is prevented from bringing a propane grill on to the fair grounds.
The voice of Big Tex, Bill Bragg, says, “It’s a very sad day. It’s a loss of an icon.” Fair goers took to social media sites to post photos and video of the burning cowboy, and expressing varying levels of grief over the loss of a cultural icon. Bragg says, “We’re going to build him back bigger and better than ever.”