The Running of the Bulls, Louisiana Style
Today marks the beginning of the annual Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain - an event immortalized in Ernest Hemingway's novel "The Sun Also Rises." The bull running (or actually, running from the bulls) is part of Pamplona's San Fermin Festival, a week long party honoring San Fermin, the patron saint of Pamplona. Eight runs take place, one each day starting tomorrow.
People from around the world, many wearing the traditional red kerchief and white shirt and pants, roar through Pamplona streets, trying to avoid being gored or trampled by a herd of six powerful fighting bulls. Since record keeping began in 1924, 15 people have been killed by bulls in the early morning festival runs. The most recent such tragedy came in 2009 when a young Spaniard was gored in the neck as he tried to escape a bull by sliding feet-first under a fence separating the course from the crowd watching the run. It was the first death at San Fermin in nearly 15 years.
Don't want to travel to Spain, or live that dangerously? As we in Louisiana know well, New Orleans can't let an occasion for a party slide by. Every year since 2008, NOLA has celebrated San Fermin in Nueva Orleans (SFNO), paying homage to the world famous Spanish event - with members of the Big Easy Rollergirls taking the place of the bulls!
This year, the New Orleans "Running of the Bulls" happens July 12th - 15th. For details, and info on how you can participate, click here. Take a look at what you have to look forward to in the following video from 2011: