Running of the Bulls in Nueva Orleans
When an event’s slogan is “Por que no?”, Spanish for “Why not?”, you can count on frivolity and spectacle.
The ninth annual Running of the Bulls at San Fermin in Nueva Orleans has become another can’t-miss event that highlights the tongue-in-cheek culture of New Orleans.
The world-famous running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain is a test of courage, and some might argue, a lack of common sense. But in New Orleans we throw caution to the wind and offer ourselves up to our version of bulls… roller derby ladies.
Players in the local roller derby league, Big Easy Rollergirls, are joined by other area players to serve as the bulls, wielding plastic whiffle ball bats and sporting helmets that are topped with horns that are either terrifying to look at, or covered in glitter. Runners, or “correros”, dressed in the traditional white and red, follow the planned route through the Warehouse District.
Depending on your predilection, you either run as fast as you can to avoid being whacked, or you offer yourself up to a bull for a tap. Be forewarned, the bulls don’t hold back and if one gets you, you very possibly will have a welt as a souvenir. And of course with welts, come bragging rights.
The run itself is early Saturday morning, but the entire weekend has been built up around the run as a way to bring some of Spain to New Orleans. Thursday, July 9 is the Spanish Wine Dinner, a four-course meal paired with Spanish wines at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel.
Friday, July 10 is “El Txupinazo”, the official kick-off party for the run. Located Uptown at the Freret Street Publiq House, it will feature foods from Bayona, Little Gem Saloon, Mondo, Pizza Domenica and Purloo. Live music will be feature the Ven Pa’Ca Flamenco Ensemble.
After two nights of fiestas, on Saturday, July 11 at 8:00 a.m. sharp, the runners hit the streets and the Roller Bulls start the chase. The run is over before you know it and of course there is an after party where you can celebrate your triumphant run.
In New Orleans the bulls talk, and one of them shared her thoughts, “Bulls weekend is how I have celebrated my birthday for the last four years. I can't think of anything else I'd rather do!
There is a kickoff dinner Friday night, bulls run Saturday morning, and a scrimmage of all the (roller derby) players in town for Bulls on Sunday. It’s so much fun!,” said derby girl “Beast of Bourbon” a participant in the Crescent City Derby Devils, an inclusive recreational group for anyone over 18.
Beyond the fun, the fiesta weekend also raises money for charity. A portion of their proceeds will be donated to Animal Rescue New Orleans and to Beth’s Friends Forever, a foundation that raises money for local women battling breast cancer.
To buy tickets for any of the events or to register for the run, visit their website at www.nolabulls.com.
Running of the Bulls at San Fermin in Nueva Orleans At-A-Glance:
Thursday, July 9: SFNO Spanish Wine Dinner
Friday, July 10th: El Txupinazo
Saturday, July 11th 8:00 a.m. sharp: El Encierro: The Running of the Bulls
Saturday Evening: La Fiesta de Pantalones
Sunday, July 12th: El Pobré de Mi (Poor Me)