DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With a slow, sturdy Southern drawl, Big Tex has uttered his final “Howdy Folks” in this, his 66th year as the official State Fair of Texas icon.
After welcoming more than 2 million fairgoers in 24 days, the 55-foot-tall cowboy came down in the rain Wednesday.
Many devoted fans watched as crews took off his trademark Lucchese boots and the gentle giant was taken disassembled.
Speaking of boots, the State Fair is giving fans a chance to design Big Tex’s boots for 2019.
Here are some fun facts about Big Tex to help those of you interested in the contest.
Who makes clothes for Big Tex? He’s a practical guy who prefers solid workmanship and comfort offered by Fort Worth’s own Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co. His outfit is sewn in the original Dickies plant that opened in 1922 at 509 West Vickery in Fort Worth.
What’s his shirt size? His Western shirt runs a size 200 x 325 (neck x sleeve). An average man’s size is 16 x 32. He has a 33-ft. 9-in. chest, 11-ft. neck and shoulders measuring 13-ft. His sleeves measure 27-ft. The buttons are 3 ½-in. in diameter.
It takes a team of Dickies sewing experts two weeks to make the shirt. It has to be durable enough to withstand a month out in the elements, so Dickies makes it out of awning material with venting slits in the material so the wind can blow through it.
What about his pants? Big Tex’s jeans size are 434 x 240 (waist x inseam). It takes 100 yds. of fabric to make them; they weigh 100 lbs. and have 3.5-in. rivets. It takes a week to make the cowboy’s jeans, which are replicas of Dickies popular 5-pocket jeans made from Dickies denim provided by Mount Vernon Mills in Trion, GA.
What about his hat, belt, and boots? He wears a 95-gallon hat. His belt is 33-ft. long and is 1-ft. 5-in. wide. His size 96 boots are a 1949 replica boot designed by Lucchese.
Big Tex received a makeover in 2013.
It was in 2012 when the Big Tex structure went up in flames hours before his official unveiling. The fire, started by an electrical spark in the statue’s right boot, only left behind Tex’s hands and shirtsleeves.