Each year, on the second weekend in March, the small town of Sweetwater, Texas begins to rattle and hum. Literally. Over the course of four days, Sweetwater is home to the Rattlesnake Roundup, the world’s largest event devoted to the venomous snake. Snake aficionados enjoy guided snake hunts, snake-handling demonstrations, and even eating fried rattlesnake! Folks less fond of the slithering creatures still find time for the Miss Snakecharmer Pageant, food booths, games, and other family-friendly events.
Initiated in 1958 by ranchers wanting to control the rattlesnake population in this area just west of Abilene, the Rattlesnake Roundup now draws over 40,000 people a year. People arrive early in the day to view the weigh-in for the World’s Largest Rattlesnake competition. Mid-day, they might join a rattlesnake tour run by the Sweetwater Jayvees, the event’s sponsor. Finally when hunger creeps up, they can enjoy some classic smoked meats as this event has one of the largest barbecue cook-offs in a state synonymous with cooking competitions. Make your plans to attend. It is never boring come March in Sweetwater.