Angola Prison Rodeo cancelled out of COVID-19 concerns

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KTVE/KARD)— The Angola Prison Rodeo is the longest-running prison rodeo in the country. The first rodeo was held in 1965, but were not open to the public.

Today, it was announced that the annual event has been cancelled due to concerns surrounding the current surge in COVID-19 cases.

The rodeo was set to take place every Sunday in October. Also, the arts and crafts fair that is a part of the rodeo was cancelled as well.

According to a press release, Louisiana State Penitentiary staff will contact individuals who have already purchased tickets and issue refunds.

Beginning in 1967, a limited number of tickets were offered to the general public for admission to the rodeo. Proceeds of those ticket sales, like today, benefited the Inmate Welfare Fund, which funds recreational and educational programs for prisoners. Spectators at the first rodeos had to either sit on pickup trucks or bring seating to view the small rodeo.

As the rodeo grew in popularity, the penitentiary built its first rodeo arena in 1969 to contain 4,500 attendees. Today, its popularity has grown so large that the new arena accommodates more than 10,000 attendees.

Office of Louisiana State Secretary James M. Le Blanc

The department says they will continue to monitor the COVID-19 surge, and will make decisions accordingly.

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