Rainy Weather Impacts Rattlesnake Rodeo

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By Catalina Trivino

Despite the weather, the 53rd Annual Rattlesnake Rodeo is underway... wet weather and all. Nonetheless, the crowds continue to show up and stick it out.

It's day two of the Rattlesnake Rodeo and thousands have been filing in all day. The snake races kicked off Saturday morning. The rodeo also included some snake education. Spectators got the chance to get up close and personal with the rattlers in more than one way... they did that by testing their taste buds with fried rattlesnake meat.

The meat is battered, then deep-fried for about eight minutes.

"Alright, we take it off the hot grease, let it drain a little bit, get the grease off it, we dump it in the pan and Marvin gets it and it's ready to serve!" Said one of the Opp Trailmasters cooks, Donnie Mooney.

It's the fried rattlesnake meat that the rodeo is known for -- both chewy and tasty, it had people lined up to get their chance at a bite...

"It tastes like chicken!" Said 11-year-old Hagen Marlin, who told us it was his first time trying fried rattlesnake.

It's just one of the traditions that's lived on the past 53 years since the rodeo began. Charlotte Jones' father, J.P. Jones, is the founder of the Rattlesnake Rodeo. She says he'd be proud of what it's become.

"He's been gone since '05 and he came every year and he would stand around in his yellow jacket that said, 'Grand-daddy of the Rattlesnake Rodeo.' And he talked about it constantly. It was one of his favorite subjects," Said Jones.

City leaders tell us all the money raised at the Rattlesnake Rodeo goes back to improvements for the city.

There have been occasional showers throughout the day in Opp, which has impacted the number of people coming to the rodeo, but city leaders say they have rain insurance, which means they should be covered in terms of revenue.

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