Every year, the town of Sweetwater, Texas throws an event unlike any other you”ve ever seen. People from all over the world flock to the tiny town in mid-March to participate in the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Round-Up.
Hunters venture out into the wild to collect rattlesnakes for the event, catching and hauling back hundreds of snakes. Though some of the ways which hunters capture the snakes (such as gassing) remain controversial, the event still attracts many curious spectators. Check out some photos that David Kasnic shot while at the 55th annual Rattlesnake Round-Up in 2013.
This is a rattlesnake. Why would you want to be surrounded by them? Not sure.
But it”s not so uncommon. Rattlesnake festivals also occur in San Antonio, Florida, Apache, Oklahoma, and Round Rock, Texas.
In Sweetwater, a group of hunters out in the bush, looking for their venomous game.
The men spend hours out hunting, so it”s understandable that they need to take a break every once in a while. Hopefully, they double-checked to make sure there weren”t any snakes nearby…
Miss Rattlesnake Charmer gets ready to perform in front of the crowds.
Some other performers get a bit…closer to the snakes – these two prepare to play guitar in a snake pit. No big deal.
Contributing to a massive mural, people put their hand prints in snake blood and sign their names.
And of course, like any big festival, there”s an eating contest – a rattlesnake eating contest, that is.
This is definitely one of the strangest festivals I”ve ever seen. Seems a little bit dangerous. But apparently, snakes really do taste like chicken.