The Louisiana State Penitentiary (also known as Angola and "The Farm") is a prison in Louisiana operated by the Louisiana Department of Corrections. The prison is the largest maximum security prison in the United States with 5,000 inmates and 1,800 staff members. It is located on an 18,000 acre (73 km²) property that was previously the Angola and 3 other plantations owned by Isaac Franklin in unincorporated West Feliciana Parish, close to the Mississippi border. The prison is located at the terminus of Louisiana Highway 66, and the prison is about 22 miles (35 km) northwest of St. Francisville. Angola is surrounded on three sides by the Mississippi
You can read more about Angola here. It has a very interesting history and beginning and a very brutal past. But today it has a very strong work system and is quite interesting to read about.
My post today is about the Rodeo. This is the 3d year in a row Baby Boy and TT have gone and they said it was one of the best Rodeos they have every been too.
Angola Rodeo History
35 Years of Guts & Glory
| The Angola Rodeo, the longest running prison rodeo in the nation, got its start in 1965. The first arena was small, built by a handful of dedicated inmates and personnel. It wasn't much in those days, and the rodeo was staged just for the entertainment of prisoners and employees. But it was fun.|
The 1967 rodeo was opened to the general public on a limited basis. there were no stands. Spectators had to sit on apple crates and the hoods of their cars to watch the performances.
The success of the 1967 and 1968 rodeos prompted construction of a 4,500-seated arena for the 1969 rodeo. A near disaster occurred when the bleachers collapsed during one of the shows. Spectators weren't alarmed; most didn't even get up. they sat on the collapsed structure and continued to watch. The 1971 rodeo was the wettest in history, but the show went on.
| As years passed, the rodeo grew in size adding events and sponsorships. The official Rodeo Cowboys Association rules were adopted in 1972 and the rodeo became a permanent fixture. In 1997, spectator capacity was increased by a thousand seats and construction of a roof over the seating area began. Hobby craft space was expanded to the point where it is no longer just a little concession area on the side for some inmates to make a few bucks. It is now an all-day full-blown arts and crafts festival, complete with entertainment and food galore, that opens at 9 a.m. and continues through the rodeo which begins at 2 p.m. Some fans come to the rodeo for the arts and crafts show alone. Ticket, concession and hobby craft sales for the last two rodeos have broken all records, prompting the administration to build another arena for Rodeo 2000 with double the capacity.(and today 10 yrs later it is still selling out to an overflow crowd, they even have the rodeo in April )|
What began 35 years ago as a "fun" thing by a handful of rodeo-loving inmates and employees is now big business.
This info was copied from the web
picture of a prison cowboy as drawn by an inmate..
the pictures above were taken from the web
The following pictures was taken by Baby Boy on their way into the Prison, it is a large clean and from OUTWARD appearances a beautiful place, a place you pray you never have to spend unwanted time at...
This is the sign that greets you as you drive up...
not very homey I'd say...
The grounds are well kept..
You are entering the land of new beginnings..
this looks so serene and peaceful.
Hope you enjoyed your visit to Angola State Prison, and the Rodeo. So glad you didn't have to stay...lol...I had two cousins that where Guards at Angola and 1 cousin who was an Assistant Warden, I just lol and said "I always knew they would wind up in Angola, just thought it would be on the other side"..lol..Their Father was Sheriff of Jackson, La. for 20 yrs and they were some bad boys..Guess we all change as we grow up.
To be continued............