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San Francisco’s 'Running of the Bulls': a different take on a classic


Event participants in San Francisco, California
Event participants in San Francisco, California


“The Running of the Bullshitters” took place last Saturday night in San Francisco, California. San Francisco has celebrated the 'Running of the Bulls' in their very special way since 1996. It’s known as “The Running of The Bullshitters” and people are faced with six human-bulls from one pub to another. San Fermin’s Txupinazo (or small fireworks to kick-off the celebration) took place in Pamplona earlier this week, on July 6. The fireworks signal the beginning of a week full of festivities, food, drinks, people coming from every corner of the world, and of course, the emotions from the famous Running of the Bulls. While San Fermines are now in full swing, and San Francisco also enjoyed its own share of emotions.

H. C./Boise, USA. San Francisco – North Beach neighborhood, to be exact – celebrated its version of Pamplona’s running of the bulls last Saturday night. People in matching white shirts, red sashes and bandanas made the run from pub to pub, having to run from the “bulls” each time they leave a place to go to the next.

The bulls are not real animals, of course. They are humans dressed with real horns mounted on hockey helmets. And even though they are not real, these human-bulls will poke you and push you into the next pub in a hurry! 

According to the organizer, Pablo Padia, the concept for "Running of the Bullshitters" was conceived on a cocktail napkin while at a bar in North Beach. He had ran with the bulls in Pamplona and wanted to do something to commemorate the experience. Bringing real bulls to San Francisco was out of the question, thus the parody now known as "Running of the Bullshitters" was born.

Since 1996, friends gather in appropriate bull-running attire to run through the streets of North Beach while being chased by a bull. This event is always held on the Saturday night during the actual "Running of the Bulls", and coincides with the exact moment the bulls were released in Pamplona.

Only 12 people were involved in the first “Running of the Bullshitters”, but every year more people travel to San Francisco to participate, and the number of Bullshitters is now over 200.

This fun event has also expanded to Minneapolis and South Africa.

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