Sweetwater, TX

65th Annual Rattlesnake Round-up Returns to Sweetwater, Texas

Douglas Pilarski

The World’s Largest RoundUp Event Begins March 9th

This week, the annual event brings 25,000 rattlesnake fans to Sweetwater, Texas. The event runs until March 12th and will pump an anticipated $8 million into the local economy. Sweetwater has 10,500 residents, so the event significantly boosts the economy.

The round-up dates back to 1958 and is considered part of the history and culture of Sweetwater. The round-up began as the city’s ranchers intended to eradicate the town’s western Diamondback rattlesnake population to slow injury to livestock and pets.

The event has evolved into a gun and knife show, a carnival, a flea market, and a cook-off. More than 4,000 pounds of rattlers are rounded up annually. They are weighed, sexed, milked, and skinned.

“There is no way that you are going to eradicate the population. We take a dent out of the population and are trying to control the population,” says Rob McCann, a member of the Sweetwater Jaycees. This nonprofit group hosts the round-up.

Sweetwater isn’t the only town holding an annual rattlesnake round-up,

The Big Spring Rattlesnake Round-up is held just 90 miles south of Lubbock and has a full slate of round-up events. Watch expert handlers in a snake-milking demonstration. The snakes give up their venom, which can be used in medical research. Don’t forget to stop by the concessions to try some roasted rattler.

The Lone Star Expo in Brownwood, Texas, is home to a three-day event every March. All-day programs are on offer to help you learn about rattlesnakes. Try rattlesnake meat at the food booths and load up on rattlesnake-hide souvenirs.

The Lone Star Expo offers Alligator educational shows throughout the weekend. The event organizers will fill a pool with small alligators. Your chance to hold one of the creatures is perfect for a selfie!

Oglesby Lions Club Rattlesnake Round-up runs every March. It’s a local tradition dating back to 1969. Hunters compete to bring in the most snakes, which are weighed and measured for length. Learning about rattlesnakes and avoiding a bite if you encounter one in the wild is a great opportunity. The festival is held in Oglesby, just 120 miles south of Dallas on Interstate 35.


Douglas Pilarski is an award-winning Writer & Journalist based on the west coast. He writes about luxury goods, exotic cars, horology, tech, food, lifestyle, millionaire travel, and the workplace. He is a regular contributor to Newsbreak.com and Medium.com.

You’re welcome to share your thoughts or tell me your story. Please email me here. dp1@sawyertms.com

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Douglas Pilarski is an award-winning writer & journalist based on the west coast. He writes about luxury goods, exotic cars, horology, tech, food, lifestyle, and workplace issues!

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