Rattlesnake Roundup kicks off this week

SWEETWATER, TX (KWES/KTXS) - It's that time of the year again. The annual Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater kicks off this week.

Dennis Cumbie, a chairman for Sweetwater Jaycees, is no stranger when it comes to rattlers.

"You always have to have respect for them," said Cumbie. "You never don't respect them. It's not about fear, it's about respect. I learned to respect them a long time ago when I was a senior in high school."

Cumbie is part of the world's largest rattlesnake roundup. Starting back in 1958, the roundup has attracted many snake-lovers, even those with a fear of snakes. It started off as a way to control the population of rattlesnakes, even though the roundup brings in more rattling friends each time.

"In our area, snakes are bad of coming into town, people and animals get bit so years ago, we set a record at the roundup of 24,000 lbs turned in so it's obvious we're not hurting the population but they're thriving," said Cumbie.

The event brings in thousands of people every year, where families get to check out safety and handling demonstrations and milking and skinning demonstrations. The festivities will include a cook off and you'll also get to try snake meat or even part take in a snake eating contest.

"Looks like the weather's supposed to be good so we're looking for a good time," said Cumbie. "So we hope everyone will come out to see us have fun."

So whether the sound of these rattlers make you squirm or if you don't mind it, a safe and fun time for the family awaits, and so will your slithering friends.

The roundup kicks off this Friday until Sunday all day long. It'll be at the Nolan County Coliseum in Sweetwater. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids and for military and children under 4 get in free. For more details, click here.

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