Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater draws more than 40,000
Sweetwater, Texas - The 59th annual Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater is the world's largest rattlesnake roundup.
The event started on Thursday and attracted more than 40,000 people by the end of Saturday. Thousands of rattlesnakes filled the Nolan County Coliseum.
"We have something to offer to everybody this weekend in Sweetwater, Texas," said Public Relations Chairman Rob McCann. "We have a milking pit, a skinning pit, a weigh in pit and all kinds of vendors in between."
McCann said 8,000 pounds of rattlesnakes have been dropped inside the pits. From there, people have a chance to see the rattlesnakes get milked and skinned.
Last year they received over 24,000 pounds of rattlesnakes. McCann said this year they stopped accepting snakes once they reached 8,000 pounds because they don't have a buyer. Weigh-In Chairman Scott Cagle said he had to turn away more than 8,000 pounds.
"When the snakes leave our weigh-in pit they go to the milking pit and we milk them," Cagle said. "Then they go from the milking pit to the research pit."
The rattlesnakes are taken to the skinning pit after the research pit.
The event also offers a carnival, gun, knife and coin show, guided hunts, snake eating contest, cook-off and more. The last day for the rattlesnake roundup is tomorrow. Doors open to the public at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for active/ retired military and kids ages 5-12, and free for children four and under.