Louisiana prison to hold crafts fair since rodeo canceled
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — With the latest COVID-19 surge ebbing, the Louisiana State Penitentiary has created a one-day arts and crafts fair to partly make up for the pandemic-prompted cancellation of its rodeo.
“Because of waning infection rates and increasing vaccination rates inside our state prisons, we have been able to reopen prisoner visitation and now are able to open the prison to the public,” state Public Safety and Corrections Secretary Jimmy Le Blanc said in a news release Friday.
The department announced in August that it was canceling the rodeo for an unprecedented second year in a row. The rodeo and an accompanying arts and crafts fair had been slated for each weekend in October.
Items that normally would have been sold during those weekends will be on sale Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They include handmade jewelry, leathercrafts, paintings, barbecue pits, swings, rocking chairs, and tables.
Inmates, their relatives and the general public look forward to the rodeo, and the show is “a scaled down opportunity to maintain those connections,” the news release said.
Proof of vaccination is required along with $5 tickets. Children under age 14 won’t be allowed under current rules but may be able to attend free if conditions change, the statement said.