NOXEN, Pa. — A rope is being tied around the rattlesnake pit on the Noxen Volunteer Fire Company grounds as they prepare for this year's Rattle Snake Round-Up.
"Yes, after being hiatus of a year, we're back this year. We've survived the pandemic and ready to go," said Noxen Fire Chief Lew Hackling.
"It's your typical fire company or church bazaar with a sideshow around it—live rattlesnakes that are returned to the wild at the end of the event," added Hackling.
"We have live music nightly. We have a typical firemen's carnival like you'd see anywhere, food, fun. We've got a ride amusement vendor here," added Assistant Fire Chief Matthew McCormack.
This is the company's biggest fundraiser. The chief says it wasn't easy without it last year during the pandemic.
"We've survived, we're good financially, but it's good to be back," said Hackling.
Firefighters tell Newswatch 16 this fundraiser is important because of how busy the department is. Noxen might be small, but volunteers here go to emergency calls dozens of miles away.
"It puts gas in these fire trucks and puts water in the tanks, let's us protect the citizens and property of Noxen Township in the surrounding areas," said McCormack.
"We have several 100 square miles of territory that's sort of no man's land. We're the closest fire department between here and Dushore," added Hackling.
The event kicks off with live music Thursday night and runs until Sunday.
Saturday and Sunday afternoon are the best days to see the snakes if you're interested. Firefighters say hunters usually get between 35 and 50 to fill the pit before the end of the event. Now they need the weather to cooperate.
"Yeah, we've been watching the weather pretty close, and so far, Kurt and a gang have been smiling, so we'll see if it stays," said McCormack.