Mess With the Bull and Get the Horns

running of the bulls pic
Local Thrill Seekers Are Ready To Mess With the Bull and Get the Horns
By: Kelly Woodard
A little piece of Spain comes to downtown Pensacola as the 4th Annual Fiesta de San Fermin en Pensacola hits the streets on Saturday, July 19th at 10 am. The Fiesta de San Fermin en Pensacola mixes Pensacola’s rich Spanish history and culture with the excitement and danger of a traditional Encierro (Bull Run).
Inspired by the Fiesta de San Fermin, best known for the “Running of the Bulls” held yearly in Pamplona, Spain which was made famous by Ernest Hemingway’s novel "The Sun Also Rises”, Pensacola’s version of the festival has also been heavily influenced by the Fiesta de San Fermin en Nueva Orleans held in New Orleans, Louisiana.
This exciting and unique event was featured on the Travel Channel as part of their “Edge of America” series in 2013.
The three-day event will combine classic Ernest Hemingway, Spain, music, food & drink all leading up to the excitement in the streets. The weekend will start on Thursday, July 17
th with a Spanish inspired Wine Pairing Dinner at Apple Annie’s with wines selected by connoisseur, Bill Carlton. The cost for the event is $60.00 per person (tax and gratuity not included). Reservations are required as this event is limited to just 80 seats.
A “Chupinazo,” or opening celebration, is scheduled for the evening of Friday, July 18
th will feature a procession honoring San Fermin, the Patron Saint of Pamplona, Spain with members of the Krewe of Andres de Pez. A local “Padre” will make the traditional opening remarks and local dignitaries will dedicate the weekend to St. Fermin. There will also be a wide array of food, specialty drinks, and live entertainment for everyone to enjoy.
On Saturday morning, July 19
th at 10 am, an “Encierro” (Bull Run), honoring the perilous running of the bulls in Spain, will run through the streets of Pensacola. Runners will be notified with rockets throughout the race as to the whereabouts of the bulls. Runners will hear the first rocket at 10 am to alert the runners that the corral gate is open. A second rocket signals that all bulls have been released. The third and fourth rockets are signals that all of the herds have entered the bullring, marking the end of the event. Live music, food & drink will be available for participants & spectators following the “Bull Run”.
The “bulls” are members of the Pensacola Roller Gurlz roller derby team and select participants from other roller-derby leagues across the country. In keeping in tradition of the New Orleans version, in place of angry bulls, the roller derby enthusiasts will be wielding whiffle bats to chase the runners through the streets of Historic Downtown Pensacola.
Runners are required to wear (any kind) of white shirt, white pants or shorts and wear a red bandana or piece of red cloth around the waste and neck. There are only five rules each runner must follow:
1. Run at your own risk
2. Do not touch the “bulls”
3. If you go down, stay down
4. Do not stand still
5. Children under 10 (or those who don’t want to be hit) use the sidewalk
Registration is going on now, and the cost will be $20 between July 11
th and 18th. Registration on the morning of the event the cost will be $25. The first 300 registered participants will receive a St. Fermin bandana. Registered participants will also receive a St. Fermin commemorative t-shirt and a wristband for complimentary beer/soft drinks.
You can register for the 2014 Running of the Bulls in the Seville Quarter Wine Shoppe or on-line at Late registration and t-shirt pick-up will be on Friday, July 18th from 4- 7 pm. Day of registration will be Saturday, July 19th from 7 - 8 am.
This event is free for spectators and all ages are welcome. For more information or for a list of all the festival events, visit or call 850-434-6211.