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First Glimpse Of The New Big Tex

New Big Tex
Crews at the State Fair of Texas erected a new and improved Big Tex on September 26, 2013, one day before the fair was set to open. The iconic structure burned just one year prior, forcing the fair to construct the new model. (credit: KTVT/KTXA)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The Metroplex got its first look at the State Fair's biggest attraction on Thursday, just one day before the gates are opened to the public.

It has been nearly one year since the iconic Big Tex structure went up in flames and, hours before his official unveiling, Chopper 11 was able to peek in on the newly remodeled character.

Crews erected the improved Big Tex sometime early Thursday morning, keeping him covered by a curtain so that visitors on the ground did not get an early look. However, once news helicopters got into the air, the secret was out.

Sue Gooding of the State Fair of Texas

The sheet was scheduled to be dropped at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, letting the entire world see Big Tex's makeover just as the State Fair of Texas started its yearly run at Fair Park in Dallas. But once the secret was spoiled, fair officials opted to uncover Big Tex a little bit early, at around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.

Many people across North Texas recall that fateful October day when the fire happened, right as the fair was kicking off its final weekend of the year. The fire destroyed nearly all of Big Tex -- leaving behind his hands and shirtsleeves. Officials determined that the fire started by an electrical spark in the statue's right boot.

YouTube video from user Joe Romero shows the fire breaking out slowly, then quickly spreading.

Big Tex on Fire by JRO DT Channel on YouTube

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