NOLA Festival Season: San Fermin en Nueva Orleans (Running of the Bulls)

Ever dreamt of attending the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona? Here's your chance! Well, sort of. The San Fermin en Nueva Orleans takes place this Saturday, July 8th, and is a more local (and safer) alternative to the Spanish festival. 

Held during the nine-day festival of Sanfermines in honor of Saint Fermin in Pamplona, the Pamplona running of the bulls is the most popular running of the bulls event in the world. Although they are also traditionally held in other places such as towns and villages across Spain, Portugal in some cities in Mexico, southern France, and also in New Orleans! 

Though the New Orleans event is meant to pay homage to Pamplona event, there is one major difference. The "Bulls," for NOLA’s San Fermin are the young ladies from the New Orleans-based all-female flat-track derby team, the Big Easy Rollergirls!

These "RollerBulls" skate behind the runners and, as they catch up with the slowest runners along the 12-block French Quarter route, they are allowed to whack them with soft foam-core wiffle ball bats. Of course this is much less dangerous than the real bulls that run through the streets of Spain.

The official procession of San Fermin in Nueva Orleans begins at 7:15 a.m. on Saturday, July 8th, followed by the runners taking off at 8:00 a.m. sharp. The run begins and ends at the Sugar Mill (1021 Convention Center Blvd.), and of course there will be parties before and after the main event, where Sangria, tapas, live Latin music and good cheer are presented.

The main requirement is that all who plan to participate wear white clothing and have a red scarf or long red cloth tied around their waists and necks. There is a $15 registration fee to run in the event. Those who just want to spectate the run from a “safe distance” are advised to stake out their places on the sidewalks along the route well ahead of time. To learn more of to purchase tickets, visit www.nolabulls.com.

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