Lifestyle

Slither Down to Freer, Home of the World’s Largest Rattlesnake

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One method to dissolving phobias is to immerse yourself in what you fear. If snakes, especially rattlesnakes, are your ultimate fear, then head south to Freer, Texas (est. 2017 population 2,748). Freer is located in Duval County in south Texas. The first oil well in Texas was drilled here in 1860 but was unproductive. Over the years, oil has been discovered again and again in this Brush Country, which is roughly 61 miles east of Laredo and 77 miles west of Corpus Christi.

Slither Down to Freer, Home of the World's Largest Rattlesnake

Facebook/ Ray Smith

Dip your foot into the Freer experience by checking out the giant rattlesnake statue east of the city limits, in front of the Chamber of Commerce, on the north side of US 59. This depiction of a coiled diamondback rattlesnake is seven feet high and 14 feet long, constructed of concrete and steel. Designed by Peggy Stacy and built in 1976 by Pete Hunter, both natives of Freer, this monument is painted with realistic colors and markings. It is noted in the book A Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Sculpture in Texas, by Carol Morris Little.

If standing close for a photo doesn’t make you jump out of your skin, then schedule a visit to the annual Rattlesnake Roundup, held every spring since 1965. The 2019 event on April 26-28 will be the 54th annual roundup. Live music, tasty food, vendor booths, beauty queens, and a parade are all exciting aspects, as well as captured rattlesnakes to see and fried rattlesnake meat to eat.

Slither Down to Freer, Home of the World's Largest Rattlesnake

Photo: Facebook/Sarah Lockwood Plain

Eight types of rattlesnake call Texas home. The western diamondback rattlesnake is the biggest snake in the state with some specimens measuring 7.5 feet, not including the rattle! Their territory includes the western two-thirds of the Lone Star State, and the coloring of these snakes varies from yellow to reddish tan to gray or brown. And remember, not all of them have the namesake diamond shape. On average, one to two people in Texas die each year from venomous snakebites.  Don’t let fear keep you from exploring outside, just remember to wear your snakebite boots!