Rattlesnake Festival
San Antonio, Florida
3rd Weekend in October
Founded in 1967
The San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival began as a small Jaycee project in 1967. Over the years it has grown in size and popularity with support from several Pasco County Rotary Clubs. After the 2017 festival, it appeared that the annual event would come to an end when the Rotary Club of San Antonio announced it would no longer hold the event. However the non-profit Thomas Promise Foundation from Zephyrhills stepped in to continue support for the festival. In order to allow the festival to grow, the venue for the annual event was moved to the Pasco County Fairgrounds. This is now an all-weekend event that attracts thousands of people.

The signature event of the festival is the "Rattlesnake Run" ... a five mile adventure race along sidewalks, streets, across country, and over hills. First run in 1979, it is one of the Tampa Bay area's oldest annual events. The run doesn't really involve rattlesnakes ... it derives its name from the Rattlesnake Festival.

 If you do expect to see rattlesnakes at the Rattlesnake Festival, you won't be disappointed. There is always a snake and reptile show where a variety of snakes, lizards, and mane exotic species are on display. You can watch handlers as they show how they catch snakes, and how venom is "milked" from poisonous snakes.

Another popular spectator activity is the gopher races ... "gopher" as in gopher tortoise, that is. Local residents enter their prize tortoises to compete in this classic competition that has the gopher tortoises racing - albeit a little slowly - down the lanes of the track.

There are always a good number of arts and crafts vendors on hand, as well as food trucks and other concessions. Pony rides, a petting zoo, bounce houses, and other entertainment are provided for the kids.
Getting there ...
Additional resources
Note: The dates of annual events and festivals are subject to change from year to year. Before planning your trip, be sure to check the links above for the actual dates, times, and schedule of activities.