Attractions and events include the downtown Mangum area lined with flea market vendors, arts and crafts set up in the old T&T on the southeast corner of the square, a rattlesnake show tent on the southwest corner of the square, dance demonstrations, a carnival, food concessions, a butcher shop show, guided bus tours to see live rattlesnakes in their natural habitat, a butcher show show, crowning of Miss Derby Princess, and more.
Those wanting to hunt rattlesnakes and compete for cash prizes can register each morning of the derby at 8 a.m. There is a hunter first aid and safety briefing scheduled before the hunters set out.
At 7:30 p.m. Friday there will be square dancers on the southwest corner of the square, Cloggers performing on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., and a free street dance on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
There is platform for those wanting to see the measuring and weighing of the snakes for prizes including the “Snake of the Day” award that takes place Friday and Saturday of the Derby at 5 p.m., with the big awards taking place Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
For a schedule of events, see page 3 of today’s edition.
The “Snakes Alive” tent show is one of the most popular attractions at the Derby. It’s located on the southwest corner of the square under the big red and white striped tent. It is filled with live rattlesnakes behind a barrier of clear plexiglass.
Trained handlers walk among the snakes, handling them and telling interesting facts about the snakes. If you’ve ever wondered about the true nature of the rattler, this a great attraction to visit.
You don’t have to see a rattlesnake when you visit Mangum, but if you do, you can get as close as a few inches from a live rattler without being bitten. There are viewing cages under the stage or you can even have your photo taken with a live rattler around your neck.
For those not faint of heart, visit the Butcher Shop Show and actually see a snake being processed. The show includes showing how rattlesnakes are skinned and their venom extracted. The meat from the butcher show goes directly to the front of the building where the “Bite-A-Snake” Cafe is located.
If you want to learn more about rattlesnakes in their natural habitat, take one of the many bus tours that take patrons out into the countryside where trained snake handlers set snakes loose, show how to catch them, and give interesting information about them. (Check the schedule above for departure times.)
Literally thousands of items, new and used, can be found through the flea market in the downtown area of Mangum this weekend. Vendors will be lined three and four rows across one side of the street to the other, as well as on the courthouse lawn. Items to be found include antiques and collectibles, tools, jewelry, clothing, old coins, ceramics, knives, plants, leather goods, sunglass, purses and wallets, wall hangings, food items and more.
If you are hungry, make your way to the west side of the downtown square where food vendors line the streets. You’ll find mouth watering hot cinnamon rolls, Mexican food, Indian tacos, corndogs, burgers, grilled corn on the cob, kettle corn, cotton candy and more.
The Pride of Texas Carnival will be set up just south of the staging area. There are lots of rides for the thrill seekers, as well as fun games for the entire family.
Be sure and make your way to the snake platform by 2 p.m. on Saturday to see the crowning of the Miss Derby Princess. Each year since 1966 junior and senior high school girls have vied for the title which earns the winning girl a multitude of gifts from local merchants as well as a scholarship to Western Oklahoma State College, a cash award, a tiara and a commemorative plaque.