The Good South

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TGS Travels | Baton Rouge, LA

Last weekend, we took a trip to Baton Rouge, LA.  Anytime we can pair work with football and fun is a win in our book.  Although our trip was short, we experienced Baton Rouge in a big way.  Here's what we did on our trip:
We got to the LSU campus early Saturday morning for the Ole Miss vs LSU football game.
We toured the LSU campus, which is covered in beautiful oak trees.
 (Pictured L to R: Our friend, Ashley, Steven, our friend, Margaret, and Jason)
We tailgated with Ole Miss and LSU fans alike and felt very welcomed in Tiger country.
LSU fans go all out tailgating for football games.  This R2-D2 robot doubles as a beer keg.  
We made our way to Tiger Stadium for the game.
Tiger Stadium is loud.  Very loud.  As you can see from the picture, we had front row seats on the 50 yard line.  Ok, maybe not, but every seat in LSU's stadium is great.  Although our Rebels were defeated, we had a great time time at the game.
Sunday, we visited the Louisiana State Penitentiary, commonly referred to as Angola, for the Angola Prison Rodeo.  Angola is the largest maximum security prison in the country, sitting on over 20,000 acres, and houses nearly 6,500 inmates.  Every Sunday in October, the prison hosts a rodeo where inmates compete against each other in rodeo events.
There are a few traditional rodeo events, but most are somewhat unconventional.  One of the most popular events is Cowboy Poker, where four inmates sit around a poker table in the middle of the arena.  An angry bull is released to charge at the inmates, and the last man sitting at the table wins.  
The Louisiana State Penitentiary also serves as a farm, growing four million pounds of vegetables each year and is home to hundreds of cattle.
 (Pictured L to R: Steven, our friend, Frances, and Jason)
Before the rodeo, we had lunch at the warden's house.  
After lunch, we headed into the rodeo grounds.
There is an Arts and Crafts show at each rodeo, where each item sold is produced by an inmate.  They sell a variety of items, including leather goods, paintings, woodworking, and food.  
We were excited to learn the proceeds from the Angola Prison Rodeo assist inmates with obtaining an education.  Each rodeo seats around 10,000 patrons and generates around $450,000.  The money assists in paying for Baptist Seminary classes held at Angola, inmate funerals, inmate education, and maintenance of the six prison chapels.
Can't beat peanuts and a Coke!
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Angola Prison Rodeo, so there was quite a bit of pomp and circumstance.  
One of the outside acts was a man who trained four monkeys to ride four dogs to herd sheep.  I promise we aren't making this up.  You can see a video here.
 
Another impressive act was the One Arm Bandit, a one-armed man who herds buffalo.  If you have three minutes, please watch his act here.  
Our trip to Baton Rouge was one we will never forget.  Attending a football game in Death Valley and the Angola Prison Rodeo are both indescribable experiences.  If you haven't been to one or both, put them on your calendar for next year.  You'll have a great time!