HUNLOCK CREEK, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The popular Noxen Volunteer Fire Company Rattlesnake Roundup has been added to the list of events that have been canceled this year due to COVID-19.
“It’s not something we took lightly. We had postponed, hoping to still get it in in late July. It’s just not in the cards,” Chief Lew Hackling of the Noxen Volunteer Fire Company, said.
The competition is usually held in June. Hackling says they were able to follow COVID-19 population restrictions because the event took place on under 20 acres of space. It was canceled to help stop the spread of the virus, especially with the uptick of COVID-19 cases.
“First and foremost is the health and welfare of not only the attendees but the volunteers. We have a couple hundred volunteers that come out just for the weekend,” Hackling said.
Although the Rattlesnake Roundup is the fire company’s largest fundraiser, totaling about 5,000 attendees per year, Hackling says the fire company will be fine for the year.
“It’s just going to put off some long term, high priced expenditures, new apparatus, etcetera. That’ll all be postponed a year,” Hackling said.
Hackling says the public has been very supportive, even though the event was canceled.
“They understand. Every year we have an annual t-shirt, and we’re still going to have that. There’s a lot of interest in getting the t-shirt for the roundup that never happened,” Hackling said.
Hackling has hope for next year, saying this year’s planning effort will all benefit next year’s event.