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San Fermin en Nueva Orleans

New Orleans Running of the Bulls founder Mickey Hanning speaks about this year’s event.

Photograph by Craig Mulcahy

Have you ever wanted to run with the bulls, but blanched either at the cost of a plane ticket to Spain or the thought of being gored by a bull? If so, San Fermin en Nueva Orleans (NOLAbulls.com) is for you. Roller derby girls chase revelers through the streets with plastic bats. The 11th annual celebration is from July 7-9 (the run itself is on the 8th).
 

Are there any new features to this year’s San Fermin?
We’ve got two new acts at the after-party…DJ RQ Away will open things up and the Zydepunks are back in New Orleans after years away! We’ve been asking them to play for us for years, and this year I almost didn’t make my obligatory inquiry. Decided to keep the traditions going and was shocked with a quick “Yes, I think we can this year!”
 

How would you sell it to someone who’s never attended it? 
It’s the most fun you can have before 9 a.m. anywhere in the world. You get to enjoy a city that adores pageantry, lunacy and cocktails and be home by noon having experienced a weekend’s worth of fun…all for just $40.
 

When you first started it, did you ever imagine it would get as big as it has?
No chance. When we discussed it back in ’07, I said I’d be happy if 50 people showed up. 200 did. I thought in its heyday, we’d be about 300 strong. In year two, we got 700.
 

Is it for all ages or should it be adults only?
By design it was for adults, but we’ve made it more family friendly. We don’t encourage anyone under 10 to run in the streets with that many people around. As for the after-party, it’s really geared for adults, but I don’t think it’s harmful…to bring the kids.

 


 

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