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Rain Man
07-12-2008, 03:06 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Jul12/0,4670,ODDRollingoftheBulls,00.html

Roller girls give chase in La. version of bull run
Saturday, July 12, 2008

By JANET McCONNAUGHEY, Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS It's the running of the bulls, New Orleans style.

Hundreds of men, women and children, most in white with red scarves around their waists and red bandannas around their necks, gathered outside a French Quarter bar Saturday morning to be chased down Bourbon Street by members of New Orleans' roller derby league.

"Roller skates and a stampede through the Quarter _ what could possibly go wrong?" said accountant Jason Medonia.

The run, in its second year, featured 33 roller girls in horned helmets from teams with names like Confederacy of Punches and Crescent Wenches.

A few minutes after the runners started, the skaters whacked their plastic bats on the street and took off. Behind them putted Elvis impersonators on motorized scooters.

It all started last year when a friend of organizer Mickey Hanning dressed as a Spanish bull runner for Mardi Gras. Hanning thought it would be fun to get some friends together and have their wives and girlfriends chase them.

Another friend's girlfriend suggested bringing in the roller girls, and a new tradition was born.

This year's crowd included Russ Schlievert, who came from Montana to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina and loved New Orleans so much he and his wife retired here.

He will miss the annual "Running of the Sheep," an event he organized in 1989 in Reed Point, Mont., but said he was impressed with Saturday's event.

"I was surprised at the turnout," he said. "I was surprised that everybody dressed. But this is New Orleans."