Big Tex, the beloved mascot of the Texas State Fair who stood at the gates greeting fairgoers for sixty years, caught fire yesterday. Even the hardest-bitten cowboy is shedding a tear today.

Big Tex got his start as a gigantic Santa Claus used to promote holiday shopping in the town of Kerens, TX. In 1952, he was converted into the big cowboy Texans know and love, booming "Howdy, folks!" and making announcements to fairgoers.

Sadly, Tex, being in his sixties, isn't quite what he used to be and he caught fire due to what authorities believe was an electrical short. The good news, though, is you can't keep a good cowboy down: Texas State Fair officials have sworn that Big Tex will be rebuilt in time for the next fair.