Running of the bulls New Orleans

Running of the Bulls- New Orleans 


You’ve probably heard of the traditional “Running of the Bulls” in Pamplona, Spain where every year locals try to outrun bulls in the small streets of the town. According to history at least 10 people get insured and some even get gored to death on occasion.  


New Orleans adopted a much safer version of this tradition. The whole thing got turned into a street fest and instead of unleashing bulls the day of the fiesta, roller derby girls dress up with horns on roller skates and unleash their beating on locals with a baseball bat. I must admit I had to see this not only because I was in New Orleans the weekend of July 9th but also because the whole thing was happening at 8am in the morning.

Suggested arrival time was 7am and since it was on a Saturday I had a really hard time imagining anyone would show up. Boy was I wrong!

 Arriving at 7:45 am at the local hang out “Ernst Cafee” on St. Peter’s Street dressed in a red dress I seemed to be barely making it through the door. Thousands of people were gathering in the streets and the bartenders had a hard time keeping up with the crowds ordering beers and drinks.

I was shocked. I barely stomach coffee in the morning. Where people here just so used to drinking at 8 am in the morning or do they never stop partying? To my surprise it wasn’t just young tourists out partying but there seemed to be locals as well as visitors of all ages: parents with small kids, grand parents, middle-aged couples, teenagers, you name it. They were all ready to through down and run with the roller derby girls.

Everyone honored the dress code that is described as “Pamplonese” style and means: white pants/ shorts/skirt/dress w/ red accents like bandanas around their neck and waists.

The run was starting at 8:30 am but by then the sun was out and the party was in full swing. Standing close to the street I could see the crowd moving slowly and the roller derby gals fully costumed pounding on the passer bys. Standing in the shade, everyone around me was sweating and barely moving forward. The gals on skates were going at it pounding the passing crowd. Nobody seemed to be fully running. As the crowd thinned out around 11am and the intensity of the sun grew, I thought of the many parades I had seen in the past. This one was definitely unique and an memorable experience.

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