Every July in Pamplona, Spain, a small herd of bulls chases anyone who’s brave enough to run in front. (And they say we’re crazy in the South!) This running of the bulls is in honor of San Fermin and was immortalized in Ernest Hemingway’s novels.
Now, New Orleans has joined in the fun.
This July will be the seventh annual “Encierro: the Running of the Bulls” through the streets of downtown New Orleans. But participants won’t be followed by live bulls. Instead, in true New Orleans fashion, the “bulls” will be members of the Big Easy Rollergirls with horn helmets on their heads. Instead of horns piercing your side by an angry animal, women on skates will slap you with a foam wiffle bat.
And to make the event even better, there’s food and alcohol as part of the larger San Fermin in Nueva Orleans festival!
Yeah, Hemingway would love this.
The San Fermin in Nueva Orleans (SFNO) festival will be July 11-14, 2013, and includes a Marques de Caceres wine dinner at the Bourbon Orleans, a 1-mile Dash and Fun Run, parties, live music, the Fiesta de Pantalones (Pants Feast) on Saturday night and El Pobre de Mi (Poor Me) on Sunday with readings from the works of Hemingway. There will also be a Hemingway look-alike contest, an original skit contest and Spanish specialty drinks.
In case you’re wondering why French New Orleans is the site of this event (if the angry girls on skates and alcohol doesn’t do the trick), here’s some history for you. New Orleans may have been founded by the French, but it was under Spanish rule for decades, switching back to the French briefly before the French then sold it to Thomas Jefferson. If you look hard at the “French” Quarter, especially before you begin drinking, you’ll see the architecture is decidedly Spanish. That’s because much of the French Quarter burned during the Spanish reign and what replaced the original buildings had Roman arches, courtyards and balconies, just like Spain.
So there, you learned something.
For more information on the festival and the New Orleans Running of the Bulls, visit http://nolabulls.com/.