A New Tradition?

I believe we have a winner of a new tradition in the works. It’s called San Fermin in Nueva Orleans, or more appropriately, the Running of the Bulls in New Orleans. See other coverage here and here.

Held this morning in the Quarter, the New Orleans event pays tribute to the famous Running of the Bulls (the Encierro) during the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain. Crowds of people there, dressed in white & wearing red sashes, dash through the town’s streets amongst fighting bulls who’ve been let loose from their corral. It’s a world-famous event, popularized through history and literature by the likes of Ernest Hemingway.

Of course, the New Orleans event is presented with a twist. There’s no bullfighting here (why?) and thus the city lacks a supply of fighting bulls. So to have fun and have an excuse for running through the French Quarter, the crowd opts to be chased by the participants of the city’s equivalent combat spectacle: Big Easy Rollergirls wielding plastic baseball bats.

It’s just the kind of event that’s perfect for the city, presenting another excuse to be drunk in public, a chance to lampoon a historically significant event while wearing a costume, and to have the luxury of being chased by fast women bearing weapons, laughing all the time. Holding it in the middle of summer, when all sane folk become completely inactive, is a stroke of marketing genius to inject some life and cash into the Quarter during the doldrums.

I think it’s a winner, and predict participation will grow exponentially next year and be expanded into an affair spread over several days; if not next year, in years soon to come.

But without the participation of real bovines, PETA will, alas, be uninvolved, sparing(?) the city of its Pamplona protest event, the Running of the Nudes. But knowing New Orleans, that’s by all means possible; I see Nude Running of the Bulls as a future night-time adjunct event, maybe.

Update: Check out Loki’s eyewitness account and many great pictures at Humid City.

4 Responses to A New Tradition?

  1. blathering on July 13, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Sorry I missed it. I thought the Running of the Nudes happened during Decadence.

  2. Sphinx Ink on July 14, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    LOL! Don’tcha just love it? I read Chris Rose’s article last week, and was glad to see the followup in your blog because I hadn’t seen anything else in the T-P (and missed any TV coverage there may have been). Thanks for the link to Humid City, because the pix are great. I did a blog entry on the bull-running myself yesterday, because the whole thing is just irresistible. Too, too New Orleans.

  3. Nola on July 14, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    We SO need to participate next year! Tickle the calendar!!

  4. Loki on July 15, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    @Sphinx Ink thanks for the compliment! I took a lot of them over my shoulder while running. Almost dropped the camera/fell on y ass a few times.
    @Ponchartrain Pete You have ruined the Runing of the Nudes for me now. I absolutely loathe PETA….

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