Big Tex is the world's best-known 52-foot-tall talking cowboy. His State Fair debut was in 1952 and he was made to talk in 1953. A
friendly wave was added in 1997 and, three years later, he began turning his head. Once upon a time he was Kris Kringle when the Kerens (Texas) Chamber of Commerce installed a giant Santa as a 1949 Christmas promotion. The
gimmick lasted a
couple of years. R.L. Thornton, State Fair president and former Dallas mayor, knew a good thing when he saw it. After a $750 transaction, Tex was sent to “Big D,” where Dallas artist and stage designer Jack Bridges magically transformed St. Nick into a huge cowboy. By 1952, Big Tex was on board for good. In 1961, Big Tex co-starred with Ann Margret in the
locally-shot remake of the movie “State Fair.” Big Tex was back in place, Monday, Sept. 24, in anticipation of the State Fair of Texas’ opening on Friday, Sept. 28. The fair runs through Sunday, Oct. 21.