Big Tex will return to Fair Park with a little help from his friends: State Fair of Texas officials announced Tuesday that the public has pitched in $45,000 to help the iconic cowboy return to Big Tex Circle.
An electrical fire felled the 52-foot statue last October, leaving Tex a burned, skeletal frame. The State Fair has a design in mind for the new icon, said Sue Gooding, a spokeswoman for the state fair. Engineers have already designed a 3-D representation of Big Tex’s hand.
The entire project, however, is estimated to cost $500,000. The fair had a $160,000 insurance policy with a $5,000 deductible. Some sponsors have also expressed interest in helping the fair pay for the statue's remaining $300,000, Gooding said.
Costs include installation, revamping the mound Tex stands on and rigging Big Tex with a fire suppression system, Gooding said. The suppression system will be paired with Big Tex’s fire retardant clothes to help combat future fire threats.
“The fair is committed to bringing Big Tex back,” Gooding said.
The icon is expected to stand around 55 feet and will continue to wear Dickey’s clothes, Gooding said.
Normally, Big Tex’s outfit changes every three years and this would have been the third year for his outfit, Gooding said. Instead, Big Tex will be sporting a new outfit but in the same style as before.
The statue will be unveiled for Sept. 27, 2013, the opening day of the State Fair of Texas.