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Rattlesnakes ready for action in Apache

APACHE — Thousands of slimy, slithering snakes are snared and ready for the public this weekend in Apache.

It’s the 36th annual Apache Rattlesnake Festival and the small Caddo County town is already ahiss with excitement for the venerable event, which runs from Thursday through Sunday. As many as 30,000 or more people will fill the streets of downtown to enjoy food, shopping and — of course — an up-close look at some legless reptiles.

“The weather is going to be so good this weekend, I don’t think you’ll be able to stir them with a stick out there,” said Ron Orf, fangmaster and long-time festival organizer. “You’re going to have a whole lot of people out here. And many of them won’t even come for the snakes.”

Orf, with his larger-than-life personality and overalls, will be found most of the day throughout the weekend in the Snake Pit. He’ll be surrounded by hundreds of rattlesnakes — from as small as less than a foot in length to up to 4 to 5 feet or more. Visitors can be as close or as far away from the snakes as they would like. But Orf will be right in the middle of them all — offering interesting facts, information and a few scares.

The Lawton Constitution

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