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

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.