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Upcoming events


OHH CANADA KIDS FESTIVAL JEUNNESE ORLÉANS from 11 am to 5 pm at Millennium Park on Trim Road. Obstacle Course, Face Painting, Scavenger Hunt, Bike Rally and lots of other surprises! Canada Day Birthday Cake at 1 pm  Food trucks and BBQ.

CANADA DAY BBQ at the Orléans Legion, 800 Taylor Creek Dr. from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. .Open tro all members and non-members. BBQ from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. by Prestige Catering and Food Services. 8 choices to choose from at $15 each. Live entertainment provided by the Taylor Creek Band and the Parsons Duo. Bar specials from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

FREE CANADA BBQ from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Petrie Island in the Steumer Park picnic area, hosted by the Orléans PC Riding Association.

ORLEANS FARMERS MARKET from 11 am to 4 pm in the parking lot at the Ray Friel Recreation Centre on Tenth Line Road. Shop the freshest seasonal produce, meat and dairy, baked goods, prepared foods, crafts and more while getting to know the folks who grew and made it.

TAPROOM 260 presents the Jamie Douglas live from 8-11 pm. Located on Centrum Blvd. in the Orléans Town Centre. For more information visit https://taproom260.com/events/.

CUMBERLAND FARMERS MARKET from 9 am to 1 pm at the Cumberland Arena, 1115 Dunning Rd. in Cumberland Village. Farmers, bakers, artists, crafters, gardeners, chefs and friends. For more information facebook.com/cumberland.f.market.

THE ORLEANS BREWING CO. presents James Leclair live from 8-11 pm. $5 cover. The Orléans Brewing Co. is located at 4380 Innes Rd. near the McDonalds. For more information visit https://orleansbrewing.com.

 

 


VIEWPOINT: How I survived the running of the bulls in Pamplona
By Fred Sherwin
July 18, 2024

I survived. I went mano to mano with six raging bulls on the streets of Pamplona and lived to write about it. I stared death straight in the eye and death blinked first.

There’s nothing that makes you want to run for your life faster than when your fleeing six charging bulls snorting down the back of your neck knowing that the tips of their horns are just inches from your keyster, unless it’s your mother chasing you down the street with a wooden spoon in her hand, but that’s a different story for a another day.

Now where was I? Oh yea, on the streets of Pamplona, running for my life during the annual San Fermin Festival and the running of the bulls.

The day started with a 5 a.m. wake up call and a 30 minute bus ride from my accommodation to downtown Pamplona.

Now, if you’re like me you, you’re probably thinking that Pamplona is a quaint little Basque village that wakes up once a year for the festival and the running of the bulls. Well, think again. Pamplona actually has a population of 200,000 people making it roughly the same size as Kingston.

Like many people, my own vision of Pamplona came from Ernest Hemingway’s description of the San Fermin Festival in "The Son Also Rises" where he rights about Bill, Cohn, Mike, and Brett staying out drinking all night and then attending the running of the bulls from the corrals to the bullring.

After the 30-minute bus ride we arrived in the centre of the village which is now a city, to what can only be described as organized chaos.

The 10-day festival attracts over a million people, but only about 1,000 people actually participate in the run which takes place every morning at 8 a.m. sharp. Think of Sparks Street during Canada Day and then stampede six fighting bulls from Elgin to Bank Street and you get part of the picture.

Now, throw in 90-degress turn euphemistically referred to as “dead man’s curve” add a mixture of nervous anxiety, bordering on sheer terror and mass hysteria and you get some sense of what it’s like and they haven’t even released the bulls yet.
The course is actually 800-metres long and the whole event takes just over two minutes.

I started the run just past dead man’s curve, about 300 metres from the bull ring where the running of the bulls ends.

When the run begins a large firework is set off to let everyone the bulls have been released. It’s also when people start jumping up and down to try and see when the bulls are actually coming their way. It reminded me of a punk music concert when everyone starts pogo-ing.

After about a minute what can only be described as a wave of panic hits you and everyone around you and off you go, swept up with the rest of the throng running from something you can feel but can’t actually see. It’s then that you realize that the threat of being trampled by 2,000 people is much more realistic than being trampled by six bulls.

If you’ve ever seen those YouTube videos of Black Friday shoppers pushing and shoving through the doors of a store to be the first ones to get the door crasher deals you’ll have some sense of what it’s like if those same shoppers were being chased by a bunch of 1500 lb. bulls.

Think of a mosh pit at a Green Day concert, only its moving.

After about 20 seconds running for my life I briefly caught a glimpse of a out of the corner of my eye as it ran by. I had missed the other five.

Once the bulls pass you, you have to keep running until you get to the bull ring and that’s when the madness really starts. The big bulls actually run through the ring and out the other side to their pens.

In their place, are introduced a series of six younger bulls whose horns have been tapped to make them slightly less dangerous. The bulls themselves, however, are still a force to be reckoned with as they run through the crowded ring picking off revelers whose adrenaline is still coursing through their veins.

The younger bulls come out one at a time and run around for 10 minutes before heading to the pen only to be replaced by another bull.

I stuck around for about half an hour to watch the spectacle and then departed for the nearest bar packed with runners eager to tell each other how they all just cheated death.

Would I do it again? Absolutely! In fact, I’m thinking of going with my two boys next year. It’ll be a blast.

(If you wish to comment on this or any other View Point column please write to Fred Sherwin at fsherwin@orleansstar.ca)

 

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VIEWPOINT: How I survived the running of the bulls in Pamplona

 


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