The past few years have been quite a ride for Big Tex. The 55-foot animatronic greeter at the Texas State Fair caught on fire in 2012, leaving at least one generation of fair-goers with horrific memories of exactly how lifelike the one-time Santa Claus statue looks while his clothing and fiberglass flesh are burning. He returned last year as a triumphant symbol of the resilience in the Texan spirit, and his 2014 incarnation really wants you to feel the “Texan” in all of that.
Thus, the State Fair of Texas gave media a sneak-peek at Big Tex’s new duds this week, which show how much the iconic effigy of all that is great about Texas loves his home state/namesake. Last year, he wore a simple white shirt with red and blue pockets, and stars on his shoulders (and a Dickies logo on his chest, naturally). This year, Tex’s new shirt is more specifically designed to recall the Texas flag as part of the 2014 Fair’s mission to celebrate Texas heritage. Officials told CBS DFW that it was intended to “further enhance his Texan spirit” to match this year’s theme, which is “Deep In The Heart Of Texans.”
DFW: Big Tex to open 2014 State Fair with new shirt http://t.co/3vq6jTw8zz pic.twitter.com/Oyr8v510QK
— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) August 26, 2014
Big Tex gets new duds for the 2014 @StateFairOfTX http://t.co/3x03btxyiM pic.twitter.com/daL58THPah
— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) August 26, 2014
Big Tex’s new duds courtesy @dallasnews‘ Tom Fox. Debuted this a.m. at Cotton Bowl. I wore this for Halloween in ’72. pic.twitter.com/Aypcu14NPy
— Robert Wilonsky (@RobertWilonsky) August 26, 2014
It’s a good looking shirt, to be certain, and one that maintains Big Tex as the same friendly, smiling, waving avatar of Texas hospitality that he’s been every year since 1952 (except, of course, for 2012, when he was a burning metaphor for the inevitability of death instead). Now that he’s made of fire-resistant material, we hope Big Tex never changes.