Thursday, 4 April 2013

World Championship Rattlesnake Races - via Herp Digest

(editor- this week I sent out a notice about turtle races, we know there are also frog races, but not rattlesnake races? For 41 years. If it moves we will find someway to get make it entertaining so we can make a buck off them.) 
By Erika Galindo/Special to the Caller-Times

CALLER-TIMES FILE 3/15/13 This weekend marks the 41st year that the World Championship Rattlesnake Races will take place in old San Patricio.

SAN PATRICIO — St. Patrick’s Day marks the 41st year that the World Championship Rattlesnake Races will take place in old San Patricio.

The festival, which is being sponsored by the San Patricio Restoration Society, has become a tradition in the area and organizers are hoping to see attendance of festival goers increase.
“Last year we saw about 13,500 people come to the festival,” said Stephen Moore, emcee for the races. “We’re hoping to break that record and get 15,000 people out for this weekend.”

Moore and his sons helped provide entertainment in past races by performing stunts with rattlesnakes including zipping themselves up in sleeping bags filled with several of the coldblooded creatures.

This year the ante will be upped with the inclusion of James White and the Outlaw Handlers, who will be performing more rattlesnake stunts at the main stage on Saturday, and Sunday.
With races set up tournament style, the public has an opportunity to get in on the action for the right to be called a world champion snake racer. The deciding heat will be the last race on Sunday where the winners from earlier races will battle it out.

The participants of the snake races must pay a $20 entry fee and be 18 years old or older, but Moore assures that they’ll be safe.

“We urge contestants to come dressed properly, but nobody should be worried about getting hurt,” Moore said. “We’ve been around for 41 years now, and we’ve yet to have a contestant bit.”

The Wounded Warrior Races will also be an opportunity for military veterans to participate in the snake races. There will be no charge for the first 20 who register.

If attendees are not particularly interested in rattlesnakes, there will also be interactive arena games at the festival that organizers hope will engage attendees of all ages.

“The festival is based largely on family entertainment. When you go to our festival, you’re part of the show,” Moore said. “We really hope folks get off the couch, put down those electronic gizmos and come out and play in our backyard.”

Included in games are hula-hoop contests, sack races and the cowboy and cowgirl races which also promise a new pair of boots sponsored by Botas Chihuahua of Corpus Christi for the winners.

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