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Buttery Big Tex Goes For World Record

BJ Austin

This year’s State Fair of Texas is all about Big Tex and his triumphant return after last year’s fire. The Hall of State features the exhibit The Life and Times of Big Tex.  And this year’s butter sculpture features the iconic cowboy. 

This is the 15th year butter sculptor Sharon BuMann has created a work of art out of butter inside a 37 degree refrigerated display case in the Creative Arts building.  And this year, it’s a tribute to Big Tex.

“It’s my personification of Big Tex," BuMann said during a break from putting finishing touches on her  butter-art.  "And the theme is welcome home Big Tex."

And it’s the tall Texas icon as you’ve never seen him before.  He’s seated, being welcomed home by children.

“They’ve brought him presents," BuMann says. "And he has little tears of joy because the children are so heartwarming.”

And he doesn’t have his hat on.

“I’m giving him a sort of Tom Mix hairdo, just off the range, BuMann said noting the butter cowlick on Big Tex's head.  "I’m home, glad to be here.”

And if all goes well, he’ll be in the Guinness Book of World Records – two thousand pounds of buttery Big Tex.  BuMann says that would qualify it as the world’s largest butter sculpture.

“The criteria with Guinness was it had to be one ton of butter," BuMann explains. "And it could not have any internal or external support.  So, this year’s butter sculpture was created with an entirely different technique. It had to be engineered so it would support itself all the way up without an internal structure.”

It took more than three weeks to craft the homecoming scene. 

Ricky Flores of Corsicana stood amazed.

“I don’t see how you, like where does that even come from?" Flores wondered.  "You just start to go up with it , or … just amazing.”

Ah yes, Big Tex, like buttah

Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.