Rudy: Okay, so you've climbed the Himalayas, canoed the Amazon and rappelled down an arctic iceberg...what else could there possibly be left to do in the world? How 'bout rounding up some rattlers in the wilds of the Texas plains? Michelle Kholos has all the hoopla in this week's Culture Watch. Hi Michelle.
Michelle: Howdy Rudy!
Rudy: Oh yes, I'm sorry, that is the proper greeting when in Texas. So what exactly are we talking about this week?
Michelle: Well, it's the World's Largest Rattlesnake Round-Up. It's been a tradition in Sweetwater, Texas since 1958, when a group of area farmers and ranchers were having a tough time ridding themselves of an abundance of rattlers that were plaguing them and their livestock. True to the American spirit, they thought, "Hey, let's lick these rattlers and make some money in the process". So, they started the round-up and over the years hundreds of thousands of folks have come to see them collect more than a quarter-million pounds of Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes.
Rudy: Quite a barbecue, huh!
Michelle: There's a barbecue, a rattlesnake parade, the Miss Snake Charmer Queen contest, rattlesnake dances...and of course for those hardy hearts, guided snake hunts!
Rudy: Now that is something I've never done! No rattlesnakes in this repertoire.
Michelle: Well, we can change that! The Round-Up is held annually on the second full weekend in March in Sweetwater, Texas, with proceeds benefiting the Special Olympics, Boy Scouts, a local group for the mentally ill, and other community organizations.
Rudy: Thanks, Michelle. Oh, one final thing, do they have a first-aid station handy?
Michelle: I'm sure they do, Rudy!
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