Run with the bulls in Shakopee

PAMPLONA, SPAIN – JULY 13: Revellers run with a Fuente Ymbro’s fighting bull entering the bullring during the eighth day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 13, 2013 in Pamplona, Spain. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

People who want to pay to risk being gored by a pack of bulls may get their chance without leaving Minnesota.

The event, called the Great Bull Run, is set for May 10 at Canterbury Park. It’s modeled on the traditional running of the bulls held each summer in Pamplona, Spain. Shakopee is one of 10 U.S. cities where similar events are planned. The event announcement says participants will run along a quarter mile track among two dozen bulls. The fenced track will offer limited shelter, but organizers say there will be no physical separation between the animals and runners.

Registration for the event informs participants that risks include trampling, goring and being tossed in the air by the animals. But it also notes that organizers minimize the risks by using less-aggressive bulls that are tended by veterinarians and accustomed to being around people. The event also allows participants to escape the course over a short fence. Participants must be 35, and pay a $13 insurance fee and waiver, although the organizers offer this assurance:

“Interesting fact: There have been only fifteen deaths in the Pamplona running of the bulls in the past 102 years! Even so, we’ve added significantly more safety precautions to further reduce that risk (but you could still die).”

The event website also indicates they plan to go further into the simulated Spanish festival experience.  A Great Bull Run ticket also gets you admission to a tomato food fight, held thrice daily.

That’s aimed at re-enacting the Spanish tradition, the “La Tomatina,” held in the Valencian town of Buñol, where crowds of locals and tourists throw the unusable dregs of the end of the harvest at each other.  Presumably throwing tomatoes would have to be imported to Minnesota in May.  Another group puts an annual  Midwest Tomato Fest in July in Minneapolis that also is modeled on “La Tomatina.”

Other cities for the bull run event include Lake Elsinore, Calif.; Petersburg, Va.; Houston; Dallas; Mohnton, Penn.; Dade City, Fla.; San Francisco and Chicago.

  • Onan The Barbarian

    This is probably one of the dumbest event ideas in a sea of dumb event ideas I have ever seen.

  • auntiesmedley

    Is it really necessary to import the WORST of European traditions, when there are so many pleasant ones that don’t require terrified, injured animals?

  • Ralfy

    Will they put numbers on the runners and let folks bet on the outcome?