The Angola Prison Rodeo is a unique event that brings in thousands annually with an unusual history. Starting in 1964 it struggled for a few years before Jack Favor, a rodeo performer wrongfully convicted of murder, help establish the rodeo as an annual event. It is one of the longest-running prison rodeos and includes a plethora of heart hammering events like bareback riding, horse racing, and wild cow milking. Other entities, outside of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, also participate including the Girl's Rodeo Association in barrel racing.
There are multiple RV camping opportunities in the area, making a drive to the Angola Prison Rodeo just one piece of a larger vacation. Not that the rodeo isn't great by itself. In fact, it was so popular that in 2000, the State of Louisiana invested in a 10,000 seat stadium to house the event. Visitors will also get a chance to purchase inmate-made merchandise like paintings, jewelry, and woodworking.
The rodeo doesn't just serve as a great piece of entertainment but also as a way to fund educational programs for prisoners, with each rodeo often raising approximately a half a million dollars.
Admission is a flat fee and is approximately $20, with children getting in for free with a ticketed adult. Tickets are usually for both the rodeo show and the hobbycraft area. Ticket purchases are typically made at the gate, but advanced tickets can be bought at the Business Office, online, or call through the toll-free number. It is highly recommended to get your tickets ahead of time as past Angola Prison Rodeos have sold out within two hours or less of starting. Look over the Angola Prison Rodeo website for more information.
The Angola Prison Rodeo is located just outside the Louisiana State Penitentiary located at 17544 Tunica Trace, St. Francisville, LA 70775, which is along the Mississippi River near Red River Landing. Tunica Trace is also seen as LA-66, so you may see signage for both road titles as you near the stadium.
You'll find it situated between Lake Killarney to the north and Bobs Bayou to the south. It may be helpful to note that some routes from the northwest will be difficult to navigate, and catching LA-66 from the south may be necessary. Road and weather updates can be reviewed on the Louisiana.gov website or by calling 511.
Parking for the event is located around the stadium in the field and is free. Workers will be available to help you load products that you purchase from the hobbycraft area to your vehicle. To get the best spots, it is recommended to get there early as traffic can get bottlenecked to one-way lanes near the entrance.
During previous events, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber has provided coach bus transportation to the Angola Prison Rodeo. Private shuttling services, while not impossible, are not recommended because of the traffic getting into the parking area. If you do use a taxi or other service it is recommended to be dropped off just before the grounds.
Because of the limitations posed upon the event and the parking, RV camping spots are not available at the Angola Prison Rodeo. Thankfully, there are many great camping locations in the surrounding area.
Travelers can look for RV camping options within twenty minutes south off of US-61. The size of these sites and what they offer can vary, with many of them allowing for power and water hookups and sewage disposal. Getting to the rodeo is a matter of taking Highway 66 back to the grounds. Remember to inquire about regulations when booking your campsite.
The site is divided into two main areas: the stadium where the rodeo is held and the hobbycraft area where the inmates sell their goods. ADA parking spots are available and will be positioned closest to the entrance of the stadium. People with mobility needs are permitted to use a motorized scooter or electric wheelchair, but anything that isn't street legal isn't permitted on the premises.
With the Angola Prison Rodeo held in the middle of spring and fall, temperatures may range from mild to warm in Louisiana. Since the rodeo happens during the day, you may want to have things like shirts, shorts, and good walking shoes. Of course, if you're the type that likes to dress up getting out that cowboy outfit would be a fun addition.
Bags, purses, belt pouches, and so forth are allowed on the premises, but they must be clear and within the size parameters. Anything superfluous shouldn't be brought as the prison is especially strict on what can be brought onto the grounds, including cell phones. Cards may be accepted on the premises, but cash might make transactions simpler.
The rodeo is home to peanut vendors; guests are responsible for any related medication needs. Since this is an outside event, be sure to put on sunscreen before you get there so the container can be left outside. Other items you're going to want to have in your RV include a first aid kit and basic personal belongings. Vehicles must be locked when parked on the grounds and are subject to search.
Make sure to check with your RV campground on their limitations with cooking. Some sites allow for the use of grills, stoves, and firepits with restrictions. If you run out of necessary food supplies, there are a plethora of shopping opportunities south of the rodeo on US-61 and LA-10 or further south near I-10. Store options may be about an hour from the rodeo area by vehicle, so it may be easiest to load up on your way into the area.
Around the US-61 and LA-10 junction, hungry travelers will find several restaurants to choose from ranging from fast burgers and tasty Mexican. Closer to the Mississippi River, there are other places that offer a sit-down atmosphere and live music.
Aside from the rodeo itself, the Angola Prison Rodeo hosts a hobbycraft fair that allows visitors to look through handcrafted jewelry, clothes, woodworking, and much more. There are also multiple concession stands throughout the grounds. Candy apples, jambalaya, and roasted peanuts are also some of the treats that may be available.
The Angola Prison Rodeo is located in the vicinity of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a maximum-security prison; guests can expect security to be extra tight. Once on the grounds, you are consenting to a search of your person, property, and vehicle. The property retains a long list of items like cellphones, cameras, tools, and that are prohibited on the grounds. Look over the Angola Rodeo's policies to get a full list of prohibited items.
Temperatures in the State of Louisiana during April and October are not often terribly hot, but major fluctuations are possible. While most of the rainy season is reserved for the summer months, cooler weather to the north can push wet weather down. A glance on the Louisiana.gov website can help you anticipate what type of weather may be in the area during your trip.
Located on the prison grounds is a first aid station ready in case of an emergency. Like other amenities in the area, a couple of pharmacies and medical care facilities are situated to the south, but they may often be 30 to 60 minutes away from the rodeo site. It would be wise to bring any medical items that you may need before arriving in the area since options may be somewhat limited.