Angola Prison Rodeo returns

The Angola Prison Rodeo made its triumphant return this weekend after being canceled for two years because of COVID.
Published: Apr. 24, 2022 at 11:30 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana State Penitentiary brought back their fan-favorite Angola Prison Rodeo. LSP has not held the event since October 2019 due to COVID. Both shows sold out and brought over 20,000 people to the event.

“They say there is nothing like this rodeo,” said Pamela Gates.

This weekend was Gates’ first time attending the Rodeo. She says she has been to other rodeos in the past, but the action at this one is a must-see experience.

“It’s been on my bucket list for years. I always wanted to come,” said Gates.

Angola Prison Rodeo returned April 23-24.
Angola Prison Rodeo returned April 23-24.(WAFB)

The Angola Prison Rodeo is known for its events like “Convict Poker” and “Guts and Glory.” In each event, inmates are competing for cash prizes, the biggest one being $500. New inmates compete every year, but for Robert Galberth, an inmate who has participated for the past 16 years, competing after COVID was a relief.

“It’s like weight has been lifted off my shoulders because this is where I get my peace at. That’s all I wanted to do. That’s what kept me behaving all these years,” said Galberth.

Before the rodeo starts, people shop for arts and crafts. Thousands of hand-crafted items made by inmates are available each year. People like Morris Allday said he drove from Alabama to see the items.

“The arts and crafts are second to none. We’ve been all over the world to arts and crafts shows, you won’t find anything better than right here,” said Allday.

Most of the rodeo is run by the inmates. Over 1,000 participate in several ways, such as serving concessions, performing music, and broadcasting the event on the prison’s TV station. However, most look forward to putting their body on the line in the rodeo.

“The rodeo actually made me to be a better person. Without the rodeo, a lot of us would not be here today to come out here and give it our all,” said Todd Plaisance.

Plaisance participated in his final rodeo this week. He says he has broken many bones throughout the years, but after 20 years of competing, Plaisance is glad people see him as a normal person.

“The people that see us compete in that rodeo, they get to see men, not what we was labeled as. Animals, demons, and monsters,’ said Plaisance.

The Angola Prison Rodeo is set to return this fall in October.

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2022 WAFB. All rights reserved.