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Inspiring Life & Travel in France

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Fête Votive: The Bulls are Here!

Fête Votive!

Oh my! Every August, the streets of Uzès 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 Uzès Fête Votive schedule goes on for six days. This is the running of the Bulls — Day One.

Fête Votive

 People line Uzès’s “main” street, waiting for the entertainment to start.

Horse and riders from the Camargue wait for the action to start.

Horses and cowboys from the Camargue ready themselves for the action.

  Fête Votive   Fête Votive

Fête Votive

They know there’s a significant, dangerous job ahead.

Fête Votive

 Horses are restless. Even so, this one made a special effort to pose for the camera.

Fête Votive   Fête Votive   Fête Votive

Handlers were listening for the signal to release their cargo of Camargue bulls.

Fête Votive

Fête Votive

Fête Votive

Fête Votive

The crowds were anxious.

Fête Votive     Fête Votive  

Fête Votive

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.

 

Fête Votive

 In just a few minutes, a buzz from the excited crowd signaled the bulls were on the way back!

Fête Votive

Oops! Too fast. Missed again.

Fête Votive

Fête Votive

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. It was 2+ seconds!

 I didn’t know that chasing the bulls up and down the boulevard lasts an hour. Up and down, down and up.

Fête Votive

And if you walk down the street, there are better places to view the spectacle.

Fête Votive

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.

 

Fête Votive   Fête Votive

Fête Votive

Fête Votive

Yes,  they were that close!

Fête Votive

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.

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