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World Music Celebrations: Angola Prison Rodeo

Each week on World Music (Saturday nights from 8-10 on KSTX 89.1 FM), I take a look at celebrations happening around the world. This week, learn about the original gated community. 


The T-Shirts proclaim the location to be a gated community, and it’s certainly that--but the gates only swing one way. This is The Louisiana State Penitentiary, when once a year visitors and inmates gather together for The Angola Prison Rodeo. This prison is home to 5,108 prisoners, of whom 86% are deemed violent and 56% will never be released. To provide an outlet for the prisoners to express themselves, the prison organizes regular rodeos during the winter and spring. The Angola Rodeo, as it's known, takes place next weekend and stars the inmates. If rodeo isn’t your thing, you can visit the prison museum and view the state’s original electric chair.

All photos in this article are copyright Frank McMains, and reprinted with permission.

You can hear more about this and other celebrations happening around the world every Saturday night on World Music with Deirdre Saravia, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM.

Deirdre as born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and her first paid work was at the age of 10 with the BBC as an actress on "Children's Hour." She continued to perform regularly on radio and stage for the next eight years, at which point she was informed by her parents that theater was not an option and she needed "real" work.