Days Gone By - stories from the past

Does Opp, Alabama still have a yearly rattlesnake rodeo?

Opp in Covington County, Alabama was known for a very unusual event called the Rattlesnake rodeo.  See film about it at the end of this story.

Covington County is named for a soldier of 1812 from Maryland

Covington County is one of the oldest counties in Alabama, created on December 17, 1821. Its boundaries were rearranged in 1824, 1841 and 1868. It was named for Brigadier General Leonard Wailes Covington, a soldier in the War of 1812 from Maryland.

In August of 1868, the name was changed to Jones County. The original name was restored in October, 1868 Oct. The county is located in the south-central part of the state, bordering Florida on the South.

Covington County Courthouse in Anadalusia built 1896Andalusia - Old_large 1896

The county seat was first established at Montezuma, later named Covington.The current county seat is at Andalusia.

Covington County Courthouse in Andalusia built 1916 Architect Frank LockwoodCovington_County,_Alabama_Courthouse

Other towns include Opp, Red Level, and Florala. The southwestern portion of the county contains the Conecuh National Forest.  The counties earliest settlers came from Georgia and the Carolinas.  Opp, Alabama in Covington County has become famous for its yearly Rattlesnake Rodeo

Rattlesnake Rodeo 2012



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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Actually, I DO want to miss it — as in never see it take place again. ” Opp hosts one of two remaining lethal rattlesnake roundups in the Southeast. Claxton, Georgia received a boost in attendance when it recently replaced its roundup with a wildlife festival, which displays captive rattlesnakes, along with educational wildlife exhibits.” (q.v. ” 55,000 People Call on Alabama “Rattlesnake Rodeo” to Switch to Humane Wildlife Festival”

    1. Thank you for the update Kyle.

  2. The link is not working.

    1. Sorry, I was doing some editing. It is working now.

  3. As far as I Know, they Do! There was a Race Track in Opp, that Cars Raced That Week, when I was on a Guy’s Pit Crew.

  4. They still have it.

  5. I hope not. I expect Opp and the surrounding countryside are more beset by rodents than venomous serpents. Give the Eastern Diamondbacks their space and let them become the large rat-eating snakes God intended.

    1. Thanks for the info. What month does it occur?

  6. It is still an annual event that takes place over three days. It’s a large festival, arts and crafts from all over.

  7. It’s a shame. These festivals are one of the reasons that not only eastern diamondback numbers have plummeted, but also gopher tortoises and eastern indigo snakes. Traditionally, the tortoise burrows were gassed, which killed and/or drove out anything inside. I don’t know how they do it now, but needlessly killing threatened species is a waste. And I say this as an avid hunter and outdoorsman.

  8. It eas April 12th weekend You can Google it.

  9. How destructive , do you know how some in the past collected these snakes , by pouring gas down the shared holes of endangered species like the gopher tortoise, these holes are shared by many species and give them protection from wildfires , the kill all snakes mentality has to stop , and it is so sad that people use the bible to justify killing all snakes !

  10. Nice try. They do NOT taste like chicken. They taste like a combination of an old rubber tire and a snake. Just about what you’d think a snalke tastes like. Nasty. There plenty other snakes that eat rats that don’t have the potential to kill people and animals. No snattlerakes around the houses or barn, thanks.

  11. They dont kill the snakes. They release them into the Conecuh National Forest when the event is over

  12. The city took it over when the Jaycees disbanded. It is usually around the first weekend in April.

  13. it is still going on !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Yes they are still having it i just wish they still killed all the rattle snakes they caught

  15. I will tell you anyone that thinks these things won’t hurt you let one be in your yard and you walk up on it lets see how you fill then they just don’t run from you…

  16. tastes like chicken………………that mated with a fish.

  17. I went many years ago…it has come a long way since then….got in line to get rattlesnake meat and I chickened out lol!

    1. My son and I ate rattlesnake years ago. I had a couple of bites and had something else for supper. It tasted pretty good, but the thought of what I was eating made my stomach roll. This coming from a guy who used to catch snakes, so I have no phobia about them. Pretty, white meat, if you can get past the idea of what you’re eating.

  18. This is where my Grandparents originated from. Opp/Andulusa area.

  19. This is where my dads family is from

  20. An in March I don’t want to be there ( hate snakes)

  21. If I remember correctly, the county name was changed to Jones to honor a particular Mr. Jones who was still living. He did not like it and had the name changed back to Covington. I loved Opp and Covington County; I lived in Opp for fifteen years. There will always be a place in my heart for them.

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