Blissful Chaos: Running of the Bulls in New Orleans

New Orleans has its own spin on the Running of the Bulls.

Arm a fleet of Roller Derby girls with plastic bats and horns, and what do you get?  Blissful chaos, in the form of New Orleans’ own version of the Running of the Bulls.

Every July, thousands gather in New Orleans, Louisiana for a… different kind of fun. This “running of the bulls” sets loose roller derby girls armed with plastic bats. And they’re ready to chase thousands of runners through the French District. The tradition began in 2007 to pay homage to the historic running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. It’s a one-mile race with no winners and losers. The prize (for most participants) is getting a swat on the butt.

Don't get WACKED! #sfno2017 #nolabulls

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According to their website, the Running of the Bulls in New Orleans started pretty uniquely. Apparently “someone told Los Pastores that the secret to getting rich was to start a festival that was free and open to the public.” Now that they’re all broke, they started charging a registration fee to cover operating expenses. And raise a bit of money for charities along the way. The festival now raises money for charities like Beth’s Friends Forever and Animal Rescue New Orleans.

The Running of the Bulls also includes a wine dinner, before-and-after parties, and a free literary gathering to cap the fiesta. Titled as “San Fermin in Nueva Orleans,” the four-day celebration uses elements of the annual fiestas staged in the Spanish city of Pamplona, including a lot of early morning sangria. After Saturday morning’s run, look for a collection of local food trucks selling dishes around the Sugar Mill, including Empanada Intifada, Peace Love and Snowballs, La Cocinita, Foodie Call, Food Drunk, Rue Chow, and Brigade Coffee.

The Running of the Bulls in New Orleans has pretty simple rules: just like in Spain, you must run at your own risk, and refrain from touching the bulls. You can get registration and schedule info here.