Milestones in the life of "Big Tex," State Fair of Texas icon:
1949 --Erected as a 52-foot-tall "Santa Claus" on Nov. 10th, 1949, in Kerens to bolster the town's Christmas shopping.
1950 -- Transported 60 miles to Dallas and sold to the State Fair of Texas for $750.
1952 -- Transformed and unveiled as a giant cowboy named "Big Tex" and made its debut in late October as the official symbol of the State Fair of Texas.
1953 -- Speaks for the first time. Over the years, six men have provided the voice for Big Tex, which says "Howdy, folks!" about 60 times a day during the fair.
1997 -- Original body was rebuilt on a cage-like frame made of 4,200 feet of steel rods.
2000 -- Upgraded with body movements, waving to fairgoers as they passed by to the Midway.
2002 -- Turns 50, gets an all-new wardrobe and a new voice.
2012 -- Destroyed in fire. Fair officials vow to rebuild icon for 2013.