The 53rd Annual Lone Star Fair and Expo is happening this weekend and a large number of patrons headed to the Brownwood Coliseum to get a firsthand look at arguably the event’s biggest attraction year in and year out — the rattlesnakes.
Hundreds of rattlesnakes fill the glass pit on the Coliseum floor over the course of three days, with many educational programs put on by the Brownwood Jaycees Rattlesnake Corps.
The Corps put on shows all day long Saturday, going from the time the expo opened until the doors closed at 8 p.m. During these shows, thousands of people stopped to listen, some for just a few minutes, while others stayed the entirety of each program.
No matter how long each person stayed though, each one seemed to thoroughly enjoy what they saw.
“This is my second time to come to this,” said Brownwood resident Jason Clark. “I’ve had fun each time I’ve been. I think my favorite part from both times has been listening to them talk about the rattlesnakes and learning more about them. I’ve never encountered one personally, but that doesn’t mean I won’t in the future. So it’s nice to be able to know what to do in that type of situation in case it ever happened.”
Another local resident echoed Clark’s remarks.
“The snakes are definitely what draw us here,” said Charlie Carlton of Early. “Watching these crazy men in there is something that piques our interest. The safety part of it though is definitely what I enjoy the most from it. A lot of this is very educational in terms of safety and what to do if you ever came across one. It’s also educational in the sense of learning about all the different breeds of rattlesnakes. I enjoy getting to hear about that. I would say I learned a lot just from the brief period of time I got to listen to them talk about it all. It’s very educational.”
For others, the fun comes from the thrill of seeing and doing something out of the ordinary.
“I like seeing them because they’re dangerous,” said David Jones, a child resident of Coleman. “They let me touch it and I thought it was so cool getting to pet that snake.”
For others such as David’s mother, however, that wasn’t exactly the case.
“It freaked me out a little bit,” said Sharayla Jones. “I didn’t want to touch it like he did. I’m not a big fan of snakes. He loves this type of stuff though, so I had to bring him. He’s had a blast.”
Regardless of whether you love or hate snakes, it seems anyone who comes to the yearly Brownwood event has a good time and walks away learning a thing or two.