On the morning of October 19, 2012, (the final weekend of the 2012 State Fair of Texas, and on Big Tex’s 60th birthday) a fire started inside the framework of Big Tex. The figure’s clothing, face, and hat were completely destroyed in minutes as onlookers watched. An official investigation determined that the fire started in an electrical panel (fixed wiring) under the attraction’s right boot. This panel was believed to have powered the air compressor that kept the clothing of the statue ‘inflated’. News of the fire received national attention, and fair officials committed to rebuilding Big Tex “bigger and better” in time for the 2013 fair.
Working under secrecy, a new Big Tex was created in 2013 by SRO Associates and Texas Scenic Co. at a cost of $500,000. The recreated statue weighs 19,000 pounds (8,618.3 kg) more than the previous version, bringing him to 25,000 pounds (11,339.8 kg). This allows Big Tex to withstand 100 miles per hour (160.9 km/h) winds without needing support wires as in previous versions. The height was increased by 1 yard (91.4 cm) to 55 feet (16.8 m) tall. Big Tex Circle, the location during the State Fair of Texas, was also enlarged and reinforced for the larger statue.
The recreated structure for Big Tex that appeared in 2013 required new clothing and larger sizes. The new Dickie shirt features a 14-foot collar, and 23-foot sleeves and weighs 130 pounds (59 kg). The shirt is made from 150 yards (140 m) of awning material. The new Dickie jeans feature a 27-foot waist, and 22-foot inseam and weigh 100 pounds (45 kg). The jeans are made from 100 yards (91 m) of denim material.
… to be continued …