By Taylor Austin
Big Tex is ready to announce which design he will be sporting at the State Fair of Texas this fall. The 2023 Big Tex Boot Design Contest winner is JESSICA BONILLA OF IRVING, TEXAS. As a Texas native, Bonilla went to the State Fair every year. At 23, she is a licensed social worker who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the DFW area from the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Arlington.
“While I work in the mental health and substance misuse fields, I also run a small business selling my art,” said Bonilla. “I heard about the Big Tex Boot Design Contest and wanted to challenge myself to draw in a new style with what I’m unfamiliar with. I am beyond excited that my design was selected to be featured on Big Tex, and I will have the opportunity to share my art with millions of people!”
Receiving more than 300 entries, competing artists ranged from ages 10 to 79, with Fair fans from coast to coast submitting their best illustrations, hoping to earn a finalist spot. A panel of judges then narrowed the pool of more than 300 unique designs to just five finalists. Finally, they judged each finalist on the creativity of the design, representation of Texas pride, and design for Big Tex.
This contest allowed fairgoers to design the most enormous, best-known pair of boots in the Lone Star State. As the first-place winner, Bonilla receives the opportunity to work with the State Fair of Texas and Lucchese Bootmaker to put the finishing touches on her boot design.
“Lucchese Bootmaker is honored to partner again with the State Fair of Texas for the Big Tex Boot Design Contest. Jessica’s design highlights the beautiful and vibrant Texas sunsets we all know and love, and we can’t wait to see her vision brought to life by our bootmakers,” says Doug Kindy, Lucchese President.
You can check out Bonilla’s winning design at BigTex.com/DesignMyBoots. And be sure to stop by Big Tex on your annual trip to the Fair this fall to see Bonilla’s creation come to life on his size 96 pair of boots.
The 2023 State Fair of Texas runs from September 29 through October 22 in Fair Park.