The $95,000 in donations made to the Big Tex rebuilding fund seems mighty piddly considering the huge outpouring of grief, sentiment, and nostalgia after the iconic figure went up in flames last October.

The replacement cost is expected to top $500,000. Insurance will cover $155,000.

That still leaves a balance of $250,000, which will fall to the State Fair of Texas to pay unless more donors open their wallets.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for anyone to donate money.

I didn’t miss Big Tex’s ugly face once he was gone, and I lamented the fact that the new Big Texas would look just like the original.

Still, my opinion didn’t reflect the majority. Facebook lit up with status updates galore as Texans expressed their sadness and  sense of loss.

Shedding tears is easier than shedding greenbacks.

The Fort Worth-Arlington-Dallas Metroplex contains about 6.5 million people. Instead of giving their two cents on Facebook, if everyone would have donated an actual two pennies to the Big Tex fund, that would have created another $130,000.

And if Texas’s 26 million residents would have each donated two cents, that would have raised $520,000 — enough to pay for the entire replacement cost.


  1. Really Jeff, why does it cost over half a million bucks to restore a seasonal statue? Were there any competitive bids? Was the public even invited to have ANY input on this restoration (design or otherwise). Also some people are sentimental about the “Voice of Big Tex”, who according to some was unceremoniously canned by some State Fair management big wig. The cost to go to the State Fair has escalated every year (excluding parking costs of usually 10-20 dollars per visit). Where does all that money go ?( administrative salaries most likely). Why doesn’t the Fair find a way to finance this project after all they’re the ones whose negligence resulted in Big Tex’s immolation and demise. They could take donations at the gate or raise the ticket prices by a buck. Calling the public “skinflint” just further aggrevates this problem.

    • Ya know, I find it baffling that people think tickets sales for the fair are just lining the pockets of the small staff who have to produce that enourmous event every year. The money from ticket sales goes to pay for the fair. It takes a lot of people to run the State Fair and they don’t work for free. Bands cost money, stage sound and lighting costs money, trash removal costs money, electricity costs money, insurance costs money, security costs money. Its not free to produce the event. And its ridiculous to think that ticket sales alone can begin to cover the costs for all those expenses. Its time to wake up and realize that people don’t work for free and stuff costs money – that’s the world we live in.

      • The state fair of Texas has the highest paid administrative staff of any state fair in the US: See, D Magazine “State Fair of Texas Scam” Oct…/State Fair of Texas Scam,aspx. The executive director makes about $800,000 per year circa 2010.

        • I find it ridiculous that the State Fair pays some director $800,000 a year, and charges out the ass for parking and admission, and doesn’t buy enough insurance, but then they expect North Texans to pay for Big Tex’s replacement. Screw that.

          • I really don’t get it either since the Dallas city manager makes less than the carny fair director-leading an operation that only lasts a few weeks. Look I love the fair. I like the exhibitions, the animals, the bird show, the UT/OU traditional game, the corny dogs,even the midway. My family spends hundreds of dollars at the fair every year ! I just don’t like being called a “skin flint “because I don’t want to pay for a negligent act by fair employees. The original Big Tex was iconic. The replacement scenario has been handled badly.

    • I agree with skeptic. I hate everything as well, and I hate paying for anything and I hate little kids and voices of seasonal statues and how Hank Hill said Big Tex is “like the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty rolled into one.” Hank wouldn’t say that if they put a tax on propane to pay for a new Big Tex, would he.

      • What a goofy inaccurate response! Where do I say that I dislike anything about the fair except being wrongly characterized as a “skinflint”. I also dislike generous north Texans who support the Fair activites by paying higher prices every year catagorized as “skin flints”. If this is a PR campaign to get more support for Big Tex, it failed miserably. I guess by your distorted standards D Magazine also is in a consparicy against the big guy. Also FYI–Fair management “silenced” the long standing voice of Big Tex, not the public which supports the Fair each year. What a laugh!

          • Yes indeed! If it talks like a whiner and walks like a whiner then it must be a state fair administrator! (lol)

        • I agree, skeptic. I am goofy and inaccurate. And my standards are distorted. Thanks for letting me know, and as my mee-waw would say, “you are soooo prescious.” But I take offense at you not liking being characterized as a “skinflint.” That’s just who you are, so embrace it. We need your negativity. It balances out all those people who are positive and like things. Because we have way too many of those.

          • Yeah well good thing some of us can also “embrace” good common sense which tells us that an $800,000/year salaried Fair CEO should have insured the iconic Big Tex for more than $155,000. Sounds like the State Fair staff are the real “skin flints”–The public knows it too!. Put your misplaced bullying guilt trip where it beongs–Wayne.

  2. What a disaster! Greedy ungrateful Fair Officials on thin ice with high attendance fees further alienate the public by: 1)burning up Big Tex without so much as a feeble apology 2) contemptuously firing the poor fellow who has been the voice of Big Tex for over a decade 3) calling the Fair attending public skin flints for not bailing them out. Maybe the Fair administration should get more in touch with their public.

  3. The public evidently doesn’t even care about this issue enough to repond to your silly article. I guess that I am one of the few regular readers you guys have–the “negativity” is just a service provided for free–like the sarcasm…but I now realize there is not anything here worth my time–Adios cucarachias!

  4. Clarification: The State Fair people didn’t call anyone skinflints. They issued a statement on their website thanking everyone for $95,000 in donations. I was surprised that only $95,000 had been donated after all the outpouring of grief over Big Tex. I’m the one who called people skinflints, which is what pissed off Skeptic. However, I was being facetious. The original Big Tex was hideous. The replacement will be identically hideous. Fair officials made that call. AIso, as Skeptic points out, Big Tex was under-insured, which falls on the fair director who is paid a small fortune in annual salary. The public supports the fair every year by paying a lot of money to take their families there. They shouldn’t be relied upon for funding the new Big Tex when they weren’t responsible for its maintenance, or lack thereof, that led to its burning, and they weren’t involved in conversations that led to the decision to replace Big Tex with an identical, ugly-ass, horribly proportioned mascot that looks as if a 5-year-old kid designed it.

    • Sigh, Jeff- You are correct on all counts. The immolation of Big Tex was a shock to north Texans who are generally sentimental about such things. You would think wouldn’t you that a highly paid administrator would adequately insure Fair property? I am sorry that Tex was perceived as “ugly” by some but burning him up (in front of hundreds of school children-no less, on the last Friday of the Fair) is enough reason to let him rest in peace!