THACKERVILLE — Area residents are encouraged to look but not touch this weekend at the Thackerville Fire Department 6th Annual Rattlesnake Roundup.

The roundup, featuring the Outlaw Handlers, will begin today and run through Sunday. Proceeds from the event will go toward a building project for the fire department.

"I am getting a lot of phone calls," Teddy Richey, fire chief, said. "I even had a call from Las Vegas from a guy interested in some of the items we will be selling. This is our main fundraiser. Last year, we raised money for cancer treatments but we need some money in our account to finish the other half of our firehouse."

Richey said 10 vendors have signed up for the roundup. There will also be an auction with winners announced on Sunday as well as a cake auction. This year, firefighters will also be auctioned off to help with chores for a minimum of two hours and a maximum of four hours.

"There will also be an educational show for kids at the beginning of each show," Richey said. "With the weather changing and people going camping, it helps to know what to do if you come across a rattlesnake. We will also have an educational show at noon Saturday and show people the preparation with the Phoenix Tool for extricating someone out of a car."

The roundup will be at the fire station, located off exit 5 on Interstate 35. It is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m., Sunday. Rattlesnake show times are from 5 to 9 p.m. today and during hours of operation Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids 5 to 12. Veterans receive a $1 discount.

Michael Pineda