This past Saturday morning, New Orleans hosted its very own version of the “Running of the Bulls“. In this PETA-friendly take on the Pamplona, Spain tradition, horned women on roller skates with the speed and stature of cattle ruled the streets of downtown, tanning the hides of runners with toy bats.
Early-risers joined the crowd of all-night drinkers and Rolling Elvi on the corner of Lafayette and Fulton. At 8AM, the fishnet-clad bulls were released in waves on a crowd donning fake mustaches and the customary white and red, the initial terror quickly faded after the crowd realized the bats only sting and they had not properly stretched, and the run slowed to a leisurely mile jog. No one was gored.
The event was sponsored by the Big Easy Rollergirls, a local rollerderby team, and they, along with other female rollerderby players from across the country, formed the herd of over 200 bulls.
In its 5th year, the weekend of festivities by the name San Fermin in Nueva Orleans (SFNO) marks the pinnacle of the summer festival season. In a time of year that was once generally devoid of festivities, local entrepreneurs and merrymakers have filled the gap with events like BarCamp NOLA. Attendance exceeded 8,000 last year and was expected to surpass that total this year.
Events inspired by the city’s “¿por qué no?” attitude like SFNO show the city’s unique ability to meet demand for the absurd. Given the importance of tourism to the local economy, creative ways to bring visitors and their wallets into New Orleans can only be a good thing. We raise a wineskin in salute to those who brought us Running of the Bulls.