'Running of the Bulls,' New Orleans style

The bulls are back in town!

Don Ames
August 23, 2019 - 8:05 am

New Orleans pays homage to Spain's 'Running of the Bulls' this weekend. And, of course, the city puts its own special spin on the event.

Unlike Pamplona, Spain, no serious injuries are likely here...other than a bruised butt or two. And, no bovines. The bulls are hundreds of roller derby girls who'll wield plastic bats as they chase some thousands of 'runners' through the Warehouse District. 

Event co-founder, Mickey Hanning, says the derby girls are some of the best in the country, coming from about 25 different states. They'll join our own New Orleans' flat-track derby team, the Big Easy Rollergirls. 

And, he says they'll have plenty of targets. "We expect somewhere around 12 to 15 thousand runners, total. That's what the police tell us, and they're pretty good at estimating."

Plenty of those participants are from out of town, as well. "Some of them come every year," says Hanning. "They plan their family vacations around it. And a lot of them are people who grew up here and they choose this time to come back to meet up with old friends." 

The pre-party is Friday evening at The Sugar Mill on Convention Center Blvd., from 5 to 9 p.m., and the bull run takes place Saturday morning.

"We kick that off bright and early. We open the doors at The Sugar Mill at 6:30 a.m. Then we release the bulls at 8 a.m."

He says there's usually plenty of contact in a short period of time...

"People do tend to take their time and the girls like to make a couple of laps. So, give yourself about 45 minutes for it to be all done."

Runners must wear a white shirt, white pants or shorts, and a piece of red cloth around the waist and neck. 

They recuperate at the 'pants party' following the run and treat their wounds with food, absinthe and burlesque Sunday at the 'Poor Me' party. That's where the Ernest Hemingway look-a-like contest will be held. 

The event benefits Big Easy Animal Rescue and Beth's Friends Forever, to supplement the resources of women fighting cancer in the Greater New Orleans area.

You can register to run in the charity event online, at tonight's party or at tomorrow's event.  


Comments ()