Texas
3:52 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Photos: State Fair Mascot 'Big Tex' Catches Fire (Updated)

Word broke this morning in Dallas that “Big Tex” – the iconic, 52-foot cowboy that greets visitors to the State Fair of Texas – caught fire and burned this morning.

It’s a bizarre end to the State Fair, which closes this Sunday. Big Tex celebrated his 60th birthday this year.

WFAA quotes Mitchell Glieber, the vice president of marketing for the State Fair, as saying it appears to have been an electrical fire. 

"There's obviously some electronics inside of Big Tex that leads to the ability for his mouth to move when he speaks," Glieber said. "I believe there was an electrical short, but that hasn't been confirmed or investigated."

You can follow Twitter hashtag #BigTexFire for more details. 

Update: YouTube member TexasStormChasers was rolling tape on fire dispatch radio when the Big Tex call came in. "There's a tall cowboy with all his clothes burnt off," says one responder. "Howdy folks – it’s hot,” says another.

Update 2: NPR member station KERA in Dallas shares three things you might not know about Big Tex, including the fact he was created as a giant Santa Claus in 1949. 

Update 3: Flickr user greychr has a great set of Big Tex's immolation, which plainly starts with a smolder around Big Tex's head.