That ominous rattling sound seeping out of Apache means only one thing it's snake season in Southwest Oklahoma.
Celebrating three decades of the legless reptiles, the Caddo County town is set to host the 30th Annual Apache Rattlesnake Festival and Flea Market, which begins Thursday and runs through Sunday.
Ron Orf is the man both behind and in front of the snake scene for all 30 years, and he's counting on a fangtastic year.
Thousands people and reptiles ant-hiss-ipated
"We have lots and lots of snakes," Orf said. "Providing the weather cooperates with us, we should have 50,000 to 60,000 people show up."
Rattlesnakes are a passion for Orf, who was on the ground floor of the first-ever Apache Rattlesnake Festival. Every year, he's the one standing in the middle of the famous snake pit with hundreds of the reptiles slithering around his boots, striking at his feet and legs all for the amazement of the crowd. The festival presents an interesting dichotomy for people, Orf said. Most who come are afraid of snakes. They often come to see something bad happen, a sobering fact one couple doesn't let him forget.
"There's this one couple that came down one year that I got bit while working in the snake pit," he said. "They come down every other year or so and they tell me they have a recording of the first time I got bit in the pit. They pull that video out and play it every year before they come."