Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Rattlesnake Rodeo

Okay! Okay! I know! Pretty scary, but oh, so much fun! This will be my 4th trip to the rodeo. This year I will take in the bands and enjoy a Southern night listening to Southern music. My first trip was in the 1970's. I actually spent one of my honeymoon nights in this tiny, once thriving city of Opp, Alabama, home of my Mother-in-law whose family worked in the cotton mill. (I heard the snakes used to race in the streets and it was the only time my husband's Grandmother locked her doors) It's also where I met the lovely Mrs. Queen Esther Ellison, who was walking home one afternoon and took time out for me to take her picture. I hope to re-connect with her on this visit and talk to her about who might need blankets next winter. (I did visit with her in her living room and we discussed writing her life story. She will be 94 in Sept. and is the only sibling left out of 18.)

Just outside the Black Belt region of Alabama, this little town of Opp hosts the famous Rodeo, where rattlesnakes race each other from a circle on concrete to the outskirts, and the first one to cross is declared winner. One can visit the food vendors and eat fried rattlesnake (delicious) or buy snake tails or various goods made of the skins...head bands, wallets etc. There's electric bull riding, bungee jumping, games, and let's not forget the Rattlesnake Rodeo Queens! Two of the most interesting things are the pole climbing and dance competitions. The fans come out in droves and it truly is a day of family fun. About the rattlesnake meat...my brother-in-law says, "If it taste like fried chicken and looks like fried chicken, just give me fried chicken!"

The 2011 Friday night event was great!  Chris and his family wanted a photo, so here it is. Chris's snakeskin boots were amazing! The fans were fixated on the snake race and music and I look forward to the 2012 event. Ya'll come!

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