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Noxen Rattlesnake Roundup canceled

The popular and unique event raises money for the volunteer fire department.

NOXEN, Pa. — A popular fundraiser in Wyoming County has been canceled for 2020.

The Noxen Rattlesnake Roundup will not be held this year because of the coronavirus.

Each year, people try for prizes by heading out into the woods and bringing back snakes.

The event raises money for the Noxen Volunteer Fire Department in Wyoming County.

The cancellation is a big deal for this community. Just ask 6-year-old Julianna Garhard.

"Breaking news! The Rattlesnake Roundup, I'm so sad," she said. "The Rattlesnake Roundup was everything!"

"It's actually devastating. For a small community like this, a place like that to be able to go and enjoy yourself, it's heartbreaking," Tanya Wolfe said.

"Sad because we like going down there and doing things like playing some of the games and eating some of the food. I'm not too fond of the snakes, but that's OK," James Hanna said.

Losing the Rattlesnake Roundup is a devastating blow to the Noxen Volunteer Fire Company. The fundraiser accounts for about 90 percent of its operating budget.

Assistant Chief Matthew McCormick says the company was saving up to buy a new fire engine. Now that will have to be put off for at least another year.

"It was really regrettable. We tried everything we could to make it happen, but with a 250-person limit, it just wouldn't work. The company does have plans for a few other fundraisers, including a t-shirt sale, but it won't be the same," McCormick said.

"They work all year round to raise money, and the other things that they do just don't compare to what the snake hunt means to this town," Sally Mock said.

The fire company says the rattlesnake roundup will hopefully be back for Father's Day Weekend of 2021, so everyone's just looking forward to next summer.