Sweetwater, Texas, hosts what may be the largest rattlesnake round-up on earth every year. Pair it with their Rifle & Pistol Club’s annual Gun, Knife and Coin show, and you get a recipe for a great time.
The Sweetwater Jaycee’s World’s Largest Rattlesnake Round-Up is hosted annually in Sweetwater, Texas, on the second weekend in March at the Nolan County Coliseum in Newman Park. Get excited, because in 2016, this round-up yielded nearly 25,000 pounds of rattlers!
It all started in 1958, when the Sweetwater Junior Chamber of commerce, called the “Jaycees,” wanted to find a solution to the growing rattlesnake population in the area.
In time, what began as a community rattlesnake hunt grew into a statewide event. Now, the round-up attracts more than 25,000 visitors and a healthy sum of revenue to charitable causes in Sweetwater as well.
Over the course of the weekend, the snakes will be displayed and sold to bidders. No part will go to waste: the skins and meat will be eaten or made into leather goods, while the venom will be used for research.
The 2017 Round-up dates are: March 10, 11, 12, the second weekend in March. You can find the full calendar of events on their website.
This event will also feature the 57th Annual Gun, Knife, & Coin Show, hosted by the Sweetwater Rifle & Pistol Club. The Pioneer Museum, a.k.a. America’s Most Underrated Museum, will have a booth at the show, where a rare 1873 Winchester short rifle will be on display, sure to tickle the fancies of any gun nuts.
If you do attend the event, don’t forget to stop by the Pioneer Museum’s booth; they will have some awesome surprises up their sleeves for adults as well as youngsters. Any donations will go to one of their wealth of community outreach efforts, as well as toward the preservation of their valuable and peerless collection of vintage Winchesters.
A sampling of the great work the Pioneer Museum is doing for the future of educational outreach within the Sweetwater community and beyond:
- An archaeology summer camp
- AVID partnership – this is a partnership with local Sweetwater High School’s AVID program, allowing students to volunteer at the museum and learn the history of Texas and their community
- Creation of audio tours for the blind and the inclusion of braille as part of a silent pedagogy initiative
- A quiet room for visitors on the autism spectrum
- Incorporating smell into museum exhibits
If you live in the Austin or West Texas area, you don’t want to miss this! Especially if your kids or grandkids have never been to a rattlesnake round-up, this is an opportunity to make some valuable lifelong memories on a beautiful Spring weekend.