The Burning of Big Tex and My MOST ReTweeted Pic Ever!

Since the kids were on Fall break from school last week I decided a trip to Texas was in order.  And because we had not gone to the State Fair of Texas since the year before our move to Louisiana (2008), Tim and I agreed it would be fun to go while there.  Ben would barely remember his rides as a little guy on the giant ferris wheel, G would NOT remember his couple of trips there as a baby, and I was excited to get a picture of our entire family with Big Tex, since it was K’s first state fair ever.

Well, the idea of that picture literally went up into flames while we were making our way into the fair grounds.

Let me back up a bit.

If you are not from Texas, you probably don’t know who Big Tex is was.  He’s is a big, 70-foot tall  “cowboy” (metal framed statue, turns out) that serves as a “greeter” at the Texas State Fair in Dallas.  He literally says, “Howdy Folks” while moving his big mouth, as you come into the fair grounds.

Anyway, as we were walking up we saw smoke and a few flames and at first thought it was something that was supposed to be there but as we walked further in, this was the scene:

He was completely engulfed in flames and thick black smoke filled the air.  It literally only took minutes for him to burn up right before our eyes!  Shortly after I took a picture similar to this with my phone (this one is from my camera), there were fire trucks pulling in and the area was blocked off so they could take his “remains” down and haul them away.

But THIS photo, was the one I posted on Instagram and Twitter.


Then my twitter account EXPLODED.

Just a few short minutes after I tweeted this photo, WFAA news (local Dallas ABC affiliate) RE-tweeted this pic and it was re-tweeted over 550 times!!  How crazy is THAT!?

Plus, the photo is on several news/newspaper/radio websites and is one of the first ones to come up when you Google “Big Tex fire pictures”!  Like I said on my FB, just shows the true power of social media!!

Once the fire was under control we continued our day at the fair and ended up having a wonderful, fried-food-filled time (more pics to follow later this week). And as far as we know, Big Tex will surely be back next year, bigger and better. Thankfully this was the last weekend of the fair this year, so most of the folks who came to see him in 2012 were able to do so.  Well except, for anyone who came in after 10:30 Friday morning…

Here are some pictures I have of Big Tex from previous years we attended the fair, so that you can see him in his glory…

My Mom and Dad in front of Big Tex in 2005
B.T. in 2006
And in 2008
Sorry about your unfortunate incident, Big T. but we look forward to seeing the “new you” next year!


  1. That is crazy! You did get an awesome shot.

  2. Wow so wild. And I am so excited for you- that’s pretty cool!


  3. You’re like, famous now!

  4. So what happened?

  5. Holy Hell. You’re on fire! 😉

  6. So sad about Big Tex! I’m glad I got one last pic of him when we were at the fair a few weeks ago. That’s cool that your shot was retweeted so much!

  7. Oh my gosh that is crazy. Hope Tex gets rebuilt soon. And also, your kids have fall break? Didn’t we all just start school???

  8. Oh wow. How cool that it was your photo that was retweeted!

    That’s crazy that it caught on fire…and how sad. I’m glad they plan on rebuilding it though.

  9. That’s so cool about the re-tweet! You are famous now and I knew you when….;)

    Glad you still had a good time at the fair and that he will be rebuilt. It sounds like the fair without Big Tex would not be at all Texal like!

  10. Oh wow, that is SO cool… um not about Big Tex burning down but your photo going all around. That is awesome. Did you get credit on the news? Are you famous now?

  11. That is just crazy! I’m so glad he didn’t fall and hurt anyone while he burned.

  12. Oh no! That’s so sad. Poor Big Tex. :(
    How cool are you getting all the media accolades? Too cool. :)

  13. Very cool that your photo went viral!
    Poor Big Tex, although I gotta say, he’s a little creepy….I hope his new look is better! haha

  14. It’s an awesome picture!!! Social media is amazing these days!

  15. Oh you, that’s so SCARY!

    But go you with the eye and the camera and holy wow – yes, and the power of social media!

    (I love that you added in photos from years past! Tells the story, yes?)


  16. That is amazing that your pic got retweeted so many times! You’re famous. lol Maybe they will re-build him with a less creepy face. :)

  17. Did they ever figure out why he caught on fire?

  18. Poor Big Tex….crazy/awesome that your picture got retweeted so much!