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Fire Destroys State Fair of Texas Icon Big Tex

DALLAS (AP) — Fire has destroyed Big Tex, leaving behind little more than the metal frame of the 52-foot-tall cowboy that’s an icon of the State Fair of Texas.

Some material that made up the towering structure’s hands and sleeves still could be seen as firefighters gathered around the scorched area Friday.

Big Tex’s 75-gallon hat, 50-pound belt buckle and slow drawl have been greeting state fair visitors since 1952. This year’s fair, which closes Sunday, had been celebrating Big Tex’s 60th birthday.

Fair spokeswoman Sue Gooding says she doesn’t know the cause of the fire but did note electrical controls move Big Tex’s mouth and head. Gooding says no one was injured in the fire and added that she expects Big Tex to be back for next year’s state fair.