the 65th annual rattlesnake roundup drew thousands to the town of Sweetwater, Texas, march 9-12, 2023. the event nearly triples the population of sweetwater for the weekend, bringing in people from across the country, and the world, to see what the roundup is all about. 
Events at the festival include guided snake hunts, competitions for largest snake and most snakes caught, and most of all a chance to get up close and personal with the iconic western diamondback rattlesnake. 
1.	The Nolan County Coliseum in Sweetwater, Texas, is full of crowds for the 65th annual Rattlesnake Roundup on March 11, 2023. The roundup brings in an estimated 29 thousand people into the city throughout the weekend, according to the event's website. Ry Olszewski
1. The Nolan County Coliseum in Sweetwater, Texas, is full of crowds for the 65th annual Rattlesnake Roundup on March 11, 2023. The roundup brings in an estimated 29 thousand people into the city throughout the weekend, according to the event's website. Ry Olszewski
2.	Piles of rattlesnakes lay in a pit waiting to be killed and skinned in Sweetwater, Texas, on March 11, 2023. While thousands of pounds of snakes were still brought in this year, the harvest was smaller than past years due to the harsh, dry winter. Ry Olszewski
2. Piles of rattlesnakes lay in a pit waiting to be killed and skinned in Sweetwater, Texas, on March 11, 2023. While thousands of pounds of snakes were still brought in this year, the harvest was smaller than past years due to the harsh, dry winter. Ry Olszewski
3.	A Sweetwater Jaycee member does a snake handling safety demonstration for crowds of onlookers on March 11, 2023 in Sweetwater, Texas. Ry Olszewski
3. A Sweetwater Jaycee member does a snake handling safety demonstration for crowds of onlookers on March 11, 2023 in Sweetwater, Texas. Ry Olszewski
4.	Various snake handling tools and safety items rest on a table in the venom milking pit on March 11, 2023 in Sweetwater, Texas. Many of the Jaycees chew gum or eat mints while handling the snakes to mask the distinct, spicy musk the snakes emit. Ry Olszewski
4. Various snake handling tools and safety items rest on a table in the venom milking pit on March 11, 2023 in Sweetwater, Texas. Many of the Jaycees chew gum or eat mints while handling the snakes to mask the distinct, spicy musk the snakes emit. Ry Olszewski
5.	A rattlesnake winds up to strike as a Jaycee member approaches in in the venom milking pit on March 11, 2023 in Sweetwater, Texas. Throughout the roundup, the snakes are milked of their venom, which is sent to a lab in Florida to be made into various types of antivenom. Ry Olszewski
5. A rattlesnake winds up to strike as a Jaycee member approaches in in the venom milking pit on March 11, 2023 in Sweetwater, Texas. Throughout the roundup, the snakes are milked of their venom, which is sent to a lab in Florida to be made into various types of antivenom. Ry Olszewski
6.	Hunters hike into a ravine to look for rattlesnakes on a guided hunt on March 11, 2023 in Sweetwater, Texas. Rattlesnakes like to hide under overhangs and in crevices in the rock in the ravine, making it a popular hunting spot. Ry Olszewski
6. Hunters hike into a ravine to look for rattlesnakes on a guided hunt on March 11, 2023 in Sweetwater, Texas. Rattlesnakes like to hide under overhangs and in crevices in the rock in the ravine, making it a popular hunting spot. Ry Olszewski
7.	John Browning (left) and Chad Engelbarts (right) gas a snake den with a homebrew apparatus on March 11, 2023 in Sweetwater, Texas. To flush out any rattlesnakes that could be in the den, Browning inserts a long pipe into the rear of it, then Engelbarts pumps gasoline through the pipe with the fumes forcing any snakes inside to the opening for air, where they can then be captured. Ry Olszewski
7. John Browning (left) and Chad Engelbarts (right) gas a snake den with a homebrew apparatus on March 11, 2023 in Sweetwater, Texas. To flush out any rattlesnakes that could be in the den, Browning inserts a long pipe into the rear of it, then Engelbarts pumps gasoline through the pipe with the fumes forcing any snakes inside to the opening for air, where they can then be captured. Ry Olszewski
8.	Nora Morales poses with a Jaycee member holding a snake to her neck on March 11, 2023 in Sweetwater, Texas. Morales and her husband are from Illinois and are a few of the many out-of-state and international visitors that travel to Sweetwater for the Rattlesnake Roundup. Ry Olszewski
8. Nora Morales poses with a Jaycee member holding a snake to her neck on March 11, 2023 in Sweetwater, Texas. Morales and her husband are from Illinois and are a few of the many out-of-state and international visitors that travel to Sweetwater for the Rattlesnake Roundup. Ry Olszewski
9.	Ashleigh McKinney pulls the skin off a snake in the skinning pit on March 11, 2023 in Sweetwater, Texas. Almost every part of the snakes is used, with some of the organs being made into supplements, their skins into keychains and other products, and the meat is fried and served at the roundup all weekend. Ry Olszewski
9. Ashleigh McKinney pulls the skin off a snake in the skinning pit on March 11, 2023 in Sweetwater, Texas. Almost every part of the snakes is used, with some of the organs being made into supplements, their skins into keychains and other products, and the meat is fried and served at the roundup all weekend. Ry Olszewski

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