Oh my! Every August, the streets of Uzés turn from business into a carnival. It’s Fête Votive! Bulls run in the streets; brass bands with men and women in colorful uniforms “oomph-pa-pa” through the village; and parades with spectacular floats fill the place with music and lights.
The Uzés Fête Votive schedule goes on for six days. This is the running of the Bulls — Day One.
People line Uzès’s “main” street, waiting for the entertainment to start.
Horses and cowboys from the Camargue ready themselves for the action.
They know there’s a significant, dangerous job ahead.
Horses are restless. Even so, this one made a special effort to pose for the camera.
Handlers were listening for the signal to release their cargo of Camargue bulls.
The crowds were anxious.
Then, the truck gate was down in a flash, and the bulls dashed out in a fury … faster than the eye … and faster than my camera. The bulls were released in such a hurry … three of them at once … that I thought I had missed it all.
In just a few minutes, a buzz from the excited crowd signaled the bulls were on the way back!
Oops! Too fast. Missed again.
Thinking I had missed getting a shot of the bulls, I saw that the young people standing near me — Arnaud and his friends from Normandy — had captured the action on video. They were more than happy to share it for the blog.
(Thank you, Arnaud!)
Yes, it was over that fast… 2+ seconds!
I didn’t know that chasing the bulls up and down the boulevard goes on for an hour. Up and down, down and up.
And if you walk down the street, there are better places to view the spectacle.
After an hour of bulls and horses running up and down the street, I was able to catch a few decent shots. They come storming down from the boulevard in a mass of horses with riders, bulls, and people chasing the bulls. Then they’re gone.
Yes, they were that close!
If you wonder what it feels like to be standing in the middle of a street with horses and bulls headed your way, check out the video.