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Rattlesnakes are more popular than ever right now in Apache during the annual Apache Rattlesnake Festival.David Brigo’s clown makeup proves snakes aren’t the scariest aspect of the annual Apache Rattlesnake Festival. Brigo drove from Pampa, Texas, to participate in the festival.Calin Darnell isn’t afraid of a little rattlesnake as he shows it off Friday during the Apache Rattlesnake Festival.Chuck Gaines holds up a rattlesnake, showing its fangs to Snake Pit visitors Friday.Chuck Gaines milks a rattlesnake to show off its venom to visitors in the Snake Pit as part of the annual Rattlesnake Festival. The festival continues today and Sunday.Marine Sgt. Joseph Long shows off how many pullups he can perform as part of an exhibit at the Apache Rattlesnake Festival. The Marines challenge anyone to step up to the bar and try their hand at pullups throughout the weekend festival.Hundreds of people pack the streets of Apache for the annual Apache Rattlesnake Festival Friday.The festival continues today and Sunday with food, vendors and lots of snakes.The Elgin Volunteer Fire Department’s hot rod was on display Friday.

Thousands flock to rattlesnake fest

APACHE  Afraid or not, thousands of people are turning out this weekend for the annual Apache Rattlesnake Festival.

There is nary an animal in Southwest Oklahoma that strikes as much fear into most people as the rattlesnake. But that hasn't stopped the Caddo County town's festival from multiplying its entire population several times over within the first full day of the event. Most visitors come from the area, making the short drive to Apache to enjoy a fangtastic Easter weekend. But some come from much farther than that.

"We used to live in Apache nearly 20 years ago," said Brett Wood, who traveled from Southern California to enjoy the event. "This is a good thing for the town, it really is. We don't get back here that often, but we always try to come to the snake festival if we get the chance."

Dozens of vendors were already set up, selling clothing, glasses and other accessories. The flea market has engulfed much of the downtown. Ron Orf, one of the event organizers, said dozens of vendors are turned away each year simply because there's not enough space.

It wouldn't be an Apache Rattlesnake Festival without food, as even more vendors were serving everything from chicken on a stick to funnel cakes and other tasty  and probably unhealthy  carnival food. But it's hard to come to a rattlesnake festival and not try actual snake meat. 

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