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Apache Rattlesnake festival this weekend

APACHE  Thousands of local rattlesnakes will attend a festival in their honor this weekend in Caddo County.

The oft-misunderstood reptiles would like to set the record straight and tell their side of the story  through hisses, of course  at the annual Apache Rattlesnake Festival, set for Thursday through next Sunday. Ron Orf, longtime fangmaster, will help share their perspective when he steps into the Snake Pit  the premier event of the annual festival  and will educate the audience on one of his favorite animals.

"Snakes don't bother me," Orf said. "They never have. It's spiders you have to worry about. I don't like spiders. Never have."

Spiders, who obviously have a better public relations representative, will not be found in Apache, but thousands of rattlesnakes and thousands more people will be in attendance. Now Orf understands that years of bad publicity have scared the general populace and make them wary of the leg-less reptiles. So he understands if people want to come to the festival, but not actually see a snake.

"That's easy to do," he said. "We've got live entertainment and so many other things going that you don't need to see a snake if you don't want to."

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