Apache Rattlesnake Festival brings benefits to the town - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Apache Rattlesnake Festival brings benefits to the town

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

APACHE, OK (KSWO) - If you head to the Apache Rattlesnake Festival this weekend, you'll see the food, rides and fun the event brings! But there's a lot of time and preparation that goes into making the event possible.

Organizers with the Apache Rattlesnake Festival Association say more than 50 volunteers dedicate their time, effort, and passion year-round planning the event.

Weeks before the event, snake hunters go down to the Red River Valley and the area surrounding Apache, catching hundreds of different types of rattlers.

While this event features the snakes in thrill shows, educational sessions, and an item on the menu...it also helps decrease some of the snake population, and brings in money that benefits the town.

If someone's house burns down, they send them a check to help with the damage and suffering. If kids need a coat or jacket in the winter time they use the money to buy them a new one. Whatever is needed, the Rattlesnake Festival is there to help and support!.

The population in the town of Apache is just 1,200. But every year when the Rattlesnake Festival rolls in that number increases dramatically.

"One Saturday evening we estimated at least 30,000 people in the town! At least that many, might have been 40-thousand it's just wall to wall people and everybody has fun," Orf said.

Fun is the highlight of the festival! Over 300 vendors from across the country bring in homemade recipes,and carnival rides for all ages!

But the event wouldn't be possible without fang master Ron Orf and his hunting partners who decided to turn a hobby into festival back in 1983.

"A lot of people had snake problems, too many snakes so we wanted to try and thin them out," Orf said.

And in the next year they started the very first Apache Rattlesnake Festival educating people about the slithering creatures, and putting on thrill performances.

Over the next 30 years the event grew, and grew, and grew bringing in about 25,000 dollars to the community.


"We've built pavilions down in the city park, we've built concessions stands for softball and baseball, you name it, we've donated to it," Orf said. "Its wonderful, they do a good job! We want to represent Apache as best as we can, and I think we did pretty good."

And while Orf said the festival has been successful he credits his friends for the idea.

"Awww its good, but I don't want to get the big head, you know its good, but everywhere I go see people I know because I've meet them right here," Orf said.

Orf just wants people to have fun this weekend at the festival, whether you like snakes or hate them he says there will be something for everyone to do!

The festival will be open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It will start at 11 a.m. and go until 10 p.m. Sunday.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All Rights Reserved.

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