You’ve heard of the bull run in Pamplona, Spain but did you know New Orleans has its own Running of the Bulls? It does: San Fermin en Nueva Orleans coincides every year with Pamplona’s event, and this year that’s July 10th through the 13th, 2014.
Okay, okay. So maybe New Orleans Running of the Bulls is not quite the same as the crazy, dangerous event in Spain where people actually run down an enclosed street ahead of a herd of stampeding bulls – yikes!
New Orleans’ more sensible (we think) annual reenactment of the Encierro replaces the bulls with members of the New Orleans-based, all-female, flat-track derby team, the Big Easy Rollergirls, and the “danger” involved isn’t trampling or being gored by horns but rather, a whack on the fanny with a foam-core whiffle bat.
Oh, there are still horns – big plastic ones affixed to the women’s helmets. As for danger, you ever watched a roller derby before? I don’t think you’d want to get in the way of one of these athletes if they were barreling down on you – nossiree! But, then, just as with the event in Pamplona, participants are given a good head start before the “RollerBulls” are released. So there’s plenty of time to get away … if you want.
And that’s not all – behind the RollerBulls are the Elvis impersonators. Rolling Elvii who bring up the rear on Segways and, hey – this is New Orleans: the event starts and ends with a party! So, yes: all very somber and traditional. Be sure to check the official New Orleans Running of the Bulls site for a full schedule of all events – Friday through Monday – because there’s lots to see, do, eat, and drink.
The New Orleans Running of the Bulls festival itself is free but, if you want to attend as a runner or some other level of participation, you’ll need to pre-register at the official San Fermin en Nueva Orleans website. Runners will need to wear either a white shirt or pants and have some form of a red scarf tied around their waists and necks to mark them as participants. Then show up ready to truck it at 8am or earlier on Saturday, July 12 (the actual route will be announced online in the coming weeks).
New Orleans Festival Lodging
You’ll be wanting some place authentic to stay for your visit so why not a locally owned and operated New Orleans bed and breakfast inn? Get the lowdown on things to do and things to avoid, enjoy great breakfasts, and sleep cozy knowing you’ve made the smart choice.