No bull, but the Pamplona festival seems to be going ahead without the star attractions, (and social distancing of course).

Pamplona is the venue every year for the world famous San-Fermin bull running festival.   And the city would at this time normally be getting ready for the huge event.

The fiesta has of course been cancelled for this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, however there are fears that crowds will gather regardless.

“Of course there are some concerns. It would be naive not to be worried,” Mayor Enrique Maya said at an event run by local newspaper Diario de Navarra this week. “But I have great faith in our citizens.”

The festival was cancelled in April due to the country’s lockdown protocols being enforced and the virus running rampant.

The fiesta traditionally kicks off with the ‘Chupinazo’ at noon on July 6, when a rocket is fired from the city hall to the cheers of people crammed into the square clad in white clothes and red neck-scarves.

Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel ‘The Sun Also Rises’, was what catapulted the festival into the public eye, the eight-day festival draws hundreds of thousands of revellers from across the globe to drink, dance and race through the streets pursued by six fighting bulls.

“We have this great opportunity to show the whole world that we are a city that knows how to follow the rules,” Maya told the Diario de Navarra event.

A fifth of the town’s yearly income from bars and restaurants comes from revellers at the event, and the venues are hoping that the lack of livestock actually running through the town won’t dampen the tourists’ spirits too much.

There will be several safeguards set up around the city, including electronic panels which will alert everyone that the main squares are full to social distancing capacity, and police will have 14 checkpoints around the town’s narrow streets to enforce compliance with the social distancing rules.

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Written by

Mark T Connor

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