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Texas Forts Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Sweetwater: 57th Annual World's Largest Rattlesnake Roundup


March 12 at 4:30pm to March 15 at 6:00pm

Founded in the late 1950s, the roundup that now draws around 30,00 visitors—nearly three times the number of residents in the West Texas town—was initially conducted for purely practical purposes. Farmers and ranchers in the area had long complained of rattlesnakes harming their livestock. To rid the fields of at least some of the poisonous creatures, they gathered each spring to round them up. The festival has since turned into a larger affair that’s hosted by the Sweetwater Jaycees and includes a pageant, a carnival, a barbecue cook-off, a gun, knife and coin show, demonstrations with live rattlers and guided hunts. 

Numerous vendors are located on the south side of 15th street which is approximately 5 blocks south of the coliseum.  Another set of vendors are located outside the coliseum, and also inside the Ag barns next to the coliseum.  The vendors outside are mainly food vendors and have everything your growling stomach could want (think roasted corn, or fried alligator on a stick).  

Rattlesnake Roundup events are held in the Nolan County Coliseum and include Safety Demonstrations by David Sager, milking pit, research, weigh in and the skinning pit.  And, yes, you can try fried rattlesnake. Those who want the full experience can register for a guided rattlesnake hunt (or with the proper permits and registration, go it alone). At the end of the weekend, prizes are awarded to the hunters bringing in the longest snake and the heaviest collection of rattlesnakes. 

The folks in Sweetwater, a town known the rest of the year for its abundance of wind turbines, know the annual festival is out of the norm—but, they say, that’s precisely why it’s worth seeing, at least once.

Thursday March 12, 2015
     4:30 pm Rattlesnake Parade
     5:00 pm  Carnival
          All day pass - $20.00 (all you can ride)
          Weekend pass $50.00 (sold only on Thursday)
     7:00 pm  Miss Snake Charmer Pageant
          Adults - $10.00
          Students - $5.00
           Located at the Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium 201 East 4th Street

Friday March 13, 2015
     8:00 am-6:00 pm  Doors open to the public
          Adults-$10.00
          Active//Retired Military -$5.00 (with valid military ID)
          Kids ages 5-12-$5.00
          Children 4 and under are  free
     9:00 am-6:00 pm Sweetwater Rifle and Pistol Club Gun, Knife and Coin Show
          Adults-$5.00
          Children under 12 free when accompanied by parent
     9:00 am Carnival
          All day pass - $25.00 (all you  can ride)
     7:00 pm - Dance at the Jaycee Barn 307 West 4th

Saturday March 14, 2015
     8:00 am-6:00 pm Doors open to the public
          Adults-$10.00
          Active//Retired Military - $5.00 (with valid military ID)
          Kids ages 5-12-$5.00
          Children 4 and under are free
     8:00 am -  Cookoff
     9:00 am-6:00 pm Sweetwater Rifle and Pistol Club Gun, Knife and Coin Show
          Adults-$5.00
          Children under 12 free when accompanied by parent
     9:00 am Carnival
           All day pass - $25.00 (all you  can ride)
     10:00 am - Guided Hunts
     5:00 pm - Cookoff Awards
     7:00 pm - Dance at the Jaycee Barn 307 West 4th

Sunday March 15, 2015
     8:00 am-5:00 pm  Doors open to the public 
          Adults-$10.00
          Active//Retired Military - $5.00 (with valid military ID)
          Kids ages 5-12-$5.00
          Children 4 and under are free
     9:00 am-6:00 pm Sweetwater Rifle and Pistol Club Gun, Knife and Coin Show
          Adults-$5.00
          Children under 12 free when accompanied by parent
     9:00 am Carnival
          All day pass - $25.00 (all you  can ride)
     10:00 am - Guided Hunts
     TBA  Snake eating contest
     TBA  Beard contest
     TBA  Longest snake
     TBA  Most pounds of snakes

 

Location

  • Nolan County Coliseum
  • 1699 Cypress
  • Sweetwater, Texas
  • 79556

Contact

Fees

  • Children 5-12: $5
    Active/Retired Military: $5
    (With valid ID)
    13 and up: $10


Map of Event