Angola Prison Announces Rodeo Schedule for 2020
The Angola Prison Rodeo has been around since 1965. It was started between prison employees, civilians of Angola, and offenders in the prison. In 1967, it was opened to a limited number of public spectators with proceeds going to the Inmate Welfare Fund. The funds raised help pay for recreational and educational programs for the inmates of the prison. The fund is still around to this day, and the ticket sales are still donated to this fund.
In 1969, due to popularity, the prison built its first actual arena that held 4,500 spectators. Now, the new arena can hold over 10,000 in attendance. It continues to be a behavioral incentive for the residents of the prison. They can earn money in the competition, sell crafts they make through the year, and be a part of the world as they compete each year. Inmates are strictly volunteer-based as they compete, but a good standing behavioral record must be held in order to participate in the rodeo.
The rodeo holds bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, and bronco riding as a traditional rodeo would. Being Angola, they have invented a few competitions of their own. The Convict Poker event is where four offenders are seated at a table. A bull is released and allowed to go after those sitting at the table. The last one at the table wins! The finale of the rodeo ends with what is called Guts and Glory. A poker chip is placed on what Angola feels is the toughest bull in the arena. The inmates are set loose in the arena to snatch the chip off of the bull's head. The one that grabs the chip receives a cash prize.
This year's rodeo schedule is April 18-19, and then every Sunday in October. You must have a ticket to enter the arena. You can purchase your tickets via their website.