This morning a fire destroyed Big Tex, the statue that stands at the entrance to the Texas State fairgrounds in Dallas. The blaze was reported shortly after 10:30 am.

Fair spokeswoman Sue Gooding says, “It’s a very sad day for all fair-goers. We did lose the clothes, his hat and head.”

Allen Ferrel, a visitor of the fair with a church group from North Richland Hills said the fire did not last long. “Big Tex was done in about 10 minutes," he said.

No official cause of the fire has been released, but Gooding suspects it to be electrical in nature. Big Tex's mouth moves greeting fair-goers with a "Howdy, folks." She says that smoke was first seen coming from Big Tex's neck.

"I can promise you Big Tex will be back up next year," Gooding promised. "He will be bellowing out his 'Howdy' in 2013 when the gates open up."

The Texas State fair has been celebrating Big Tex's 60th birthday this year.

Here is audio from the Fire Dispatch:

More photos of  Big Tex on fire:

Photos by Lynda Kingsley
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