Angola Rodeo | Louisiana

Monday, April 19, 2010

Controversial? Some would say. Eye-opening glimpse at life behind a maximum security prison? Absolutely.

I'm intrigued with the people in prison for some reason. I guess it's because I'm so risk & danger averse, it's like a 180 from my being. I'm just a straight arrow, goody-goody, always have been. So suffice it to say, I had been wanting to check out the Angola Rodeo for years, so we finally bought tickets and went this past weekend. The Angola Prison Rodeo is the longest running prison rodeo in the nation, getting its start back in 1965. Now if you're unfamiliar, Angola is otherwise known as the Louisiana State Penitentiary, home of the baddest prisoners in the South. The rodeo was originally intended to provide a source of recreation for the inmates, but it quickly grew into a professional rodeo production that has proven beneficial to the internal inmate economy. It has also been a huge benefit to the entire Parish of West Feliciana tourism industry. The other aspect of the Rodeo is the 'prisoner craft' fair in which inmates are allowed to sell their hand-made items such as rocking chairs, BBQ pits, paintings and a whole lot more. This stuff is really well made and the inmates get to keep the proceeds from their sales. Proceeds from the rodeo ticket sales go to multiple endeavors, one of which is educational programs for the inmates. The rodeo is held every Sunday in October, and for one weekend in April. The only other prison rodeo in the country performed almost entirely by inmates is at the Oklahoma State Pen.

Disclaimer- If you like attending rodeos, this is for you. It's probably not for the faint of heart as I'm not going to lie, some of it is difficult to watch.

-lila
Image, USA Today

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