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Updated Oct 19, 2012 - 9:38 am

Lace 'em up: Cave Creek hosts running of the bulls

Running of the Bulls USA (Photo: Facebook)

CAVE CREEK, Ariz. -- A festival in Cave Creek will be a bunch of bull Saturday.

It's the town's second annual "Running of the Bulls" Festival.

The bulls have been chasing people through the streets in Pamplona, Spain since the 14th century, but local promoter Phil Immordino said something else inspired him to do it here.

"When I was in seventh grade, living in Phoenix, a bull was let loose in the neighborhood," Immordino said. "The media went crazy. It was all over the news."

While promoting a rodeo several years later, Immordino started talking about holding a running of the bulls. There have been four bull runs in the United States, including two in California and one at Rawhide in Scottsdale in 2002. Immordino started Cave Creek's festival last year.

A crowd of 5,000 watched 1,000 runners run from the bulls last year. There were no injuries, and Immordino hopes to have at least the same amount of people this year.

There will be seven runs starting at 10 a.m. If you want to outrun the 12 raging bulls, you'd better move fast.

"They can run up to 45 miles an hour, depending on what kind of mood they're in," Immordino said of the animals. "They probably won't be moving that fast. They'll probably go about 25 miles an hour."

The top bull runner gets a $1,000 cash prize.

In addition to the bull runs, Immordino said that the festival will feature several other events.

"We'll have exciting activities in the arena, such as American bullfighting, Mexican bullfighting, even midget bullfighting starting at 10:30 a.m."

Other entertainment includes the country group Southern Delight, which will take the stage for a concert starting at 6 p.m.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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