Mangum Rattlesnake Derby
The Mangum Rattlesnake Derby is an annual event featuring everything from carnival rides to live rattlesnake shows. Visitors to the derby will have the unique opportunity to travel deep into the countryside surrounding Mangum to hunt rattlesnakes. All hunters must register at the event's Rattlesnake Headquarters. After a brief safety meeting, hunters are led onto private land in an attempt to catch local rattlesnakes. Put your nerves to the test and sign up for a spot on two daily caravans for an experience you won't soon forget.
If hunting rattlesnakes is not your idea of a good time, have no fear. The Mangum Rattlesnake Derby is a festival for the whole family and is also home to one of the largest flea markets in Oklahoma. Hundreds of vendors flock to Mangum each year to sell their goods to passing patrons. Browse through booths at the flea market and visit the Arts & Crafts show to pick up a unique souvenir. After shopping, stop by Food Alley and pick up a tasty treat from dozens of available food vendors.
Bring the whole family to the Mangum Rattlesnake Derby and enjoy the carnival area filled with rides, games and fun. As an added bonus, the Shortgrass Rattlesnake Association is proud to present a free concert and street dance featuring a local band. On Saturday, following the crowning of Miss Fang, you can watch as cloggers and dancers perform in downtown Mangum.
No trip to the Mangum Rattlesnake Derby would be complete without a visit to the Snake Pit. Watch as experienced snake handlers walk amidst the snakes. The Snake Pit houses hundreds of rattlers as they freely roam inside a glass enclosure. Each show lasts approximately 45 minutes. Don't forget to secure the ultimate souvenir: a picture taken with a live rattlesnake. Expert snake handlers will be on-hand to shoot family photos with live snakes. The photo booth is located next to the Snake Pit. After the show, head over to the Butcher Shop Show for a demonstration of how the snake is processed. Everything is used except the hiss. Next door is the world-famous Bite-a-Snake Cafe where patrons can try a serving of fried snake meat.
Complete your snake adventure with a safari bus tour. Visitors to this derby will also have an opportunity to take a safari bus to an actual rattlesnake den site to see them in their natural environment. The 45 minute bus tour includes a history of Greer County and western Oklahoma, and for the brave at heart, a chance to pick up a live rattlesnake.
Stick around on Sunday to see the event's Longest Snake Contest. Make your way to the rattlesnake buying platform to see live snakes stretched and measured under the watchful eye of expert handlers. The current record stands at 84 inches (seven feet).
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