The east Pasco Rotary clubs taking over San Antonio’s rattlesnake festival plan some significant changes to the October event, including a name change
The festival will be reduced from two days to a longer one-day event. The festival will run from 9 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. on Oct. 19. The festival name will be changed to the San Antonio Rattlesnake and Music Festival and will include several genres of music throughout the day.
The music will take a break about 5 p.m. during Mass at St. Anthony of Padua that borders the park.
The festival will add a beer garden and an alligator show with expanded rattlesnake displays. Other features of the event will remain the same.
Also, festival founder Eddie Herrmann will continue to serve on the festival’s board of directors.
One of the Rotarians’ requirements for taking over the festival responsibilities was that every board member submit a written resignation, but Herrmann’s resignation was not accepted, said Mike Mira, new festival board chairman and Rotary Assistant Governor for District 6950.
“I didn’t want to accept his resignation letter,” Mira said. “I just didn’t feel right that we would actually accept his resignation so we allowed him to stay on the board as an emeritus board member so he’s still on the board. He has put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into that event over many, many years.”
The name of the Rattlesnake and Gopher Enthusiasts board will change. The Rotarians decided to rename it East Pasco Rotary Charities.
Three days ago when the takeover was solidified, only San Antonio Rotary, The Rotary Club of Zephyrhills (known as noon Rotary) Sunrise Rotary of Dade City and the Sunrise and Noon Rotary Clubs of Wesley Chapel were committed to being involved in the festival, but the Zephyrhills Daybreak Rotary has since joined the others. Only Dade City Noon Rotary has decided not join the effort.
The St. Leo Rotaract Club is also joining the collaboration. Rotaract is the college arm of Rotary Club International. Mira hopes that the Interact Clubs of Zephyrhills High School and Pasco High School will also participate.
The new festival board members and their clubs are Mira (Zephyrhills Noon Rotary), president; Mike Wood (Zephyrhills Noon Rotary), vice president; Ally Vincent (Rotaract), secretary; and Rebecca Gaddis (Zephyrhills Noon Rotary), treasurer. Currently, the rest of the board includes Betty Burke (San Antonio); Jean Nathe (Dade City Sunrise); David West (Wesley Chapel Noon); and Richard Haymen (Wesley Chapel Sunrise).