SWEETWATER, TX – The 62nd Annual Rattlesnake Round-up happened this past weekend in Sweetwater and it was filled with fun, fears, and a great quantity of rattlesnakes.
The Rattlesnake Round Up has been held every year in March in hopes of not only controlling the population of the Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes but also for educating the public on how to co-exist with the dangerous predators.
"Originally the roundup started 62 years ago by farmers and ranchers when they decided they wanted to eradicate the snake because they were having so much livestock and people being bitten." said Sweetwater Jaycee Dennis Cumbie. "Then the Jaycees took over it and became what it is today. What we've learned is that we're just living with the snakes so our show is about teaching education and safety to how to live with the snakes and live in harmony."
The process is fairly simple. The snakes are brought into the Nolan County Coliseum. They are then weighed, measured, and then milked.
After that, the snakes are taken to processing where they are skinned and preserved for meat. The Rattlesnake Round-up claims they waste nothing from the snake and if there is anything left over, they use it next year.
The event is friendly to people of all ages. Even a 5-year-old girl can be seen in the video ripping a snake in half. "I was a little nervous. My knees were shaking but I was brave." said Alexeus Cervantes.
Overall the event gathered hundreds of people throughout the weekend despite many events around the nation closing for COVID-19. When asked what promoted them staying open one Jaycee claimed "The Coronavirus is the least likely thing to kill you at the Rattlesnake Round-Up."
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