BURLINGTON- In Spain, the annual Running of the Bulls took place on Saturday for the first time three years because of COVID-19. Meanwhile in Burlington, a similar but less vicious version made its debut on Church Street.
“The idea was that the running of the bulls in Spain is an event that just begs to be spoofed on,” said Shawn Morin, one of the event’s founders.
The event was a collaboration between the Classic Mike Loyer Foundation and Switchback Brewing Company.
“The Classic Mike Loyer Foundation was founded about eleven years ago this month following the construction accident passing of my brother Mike,” said Morin. “We basically wanted families to be able to grieve the loss of their loved ones without worrying about money.”
The run was an opportunity for people to not only have fun in the Burlington sun, but to donate to the foundation. Prior to the run, the top sponsors were honored with prizes given to the top donors.
Morin said the foundation has raised over $350,000 since its inception and the expectation is that this event significantly contributes to that number.
“I think they’ve raised $15,000 just from those who have donated and came to run,” said run participant Sella Newbury who interns for 99.9 the Buzz.
For the rest of July, the Switchback partnership will continue to raise money for the foundation, but they need Burlingtonians help to do so. “We just released a new beer, it’s called Zaboo Hazy Ipa,” said Abbe Carroll, a marketer for Switchback. “In addition to being the presenting sponsor, we are also matching a dollar for every pint of Zaboo Hazy Ipa that is poured at local establishments around here.”
Zaboo Hazy Ipa is available all over Vermont, but on Church Street in Burlington customers can find it at Finnegan’s Pub, Ken’s Pizza, Ri Ra Irish Pub, Church Street Tavern, Nectar’s, Red Square, Ruben James restaurant and Halvorson’s.
While injuries are prevalent in the Spain event, none were sustained in the Queen City as nothing was meant to be taken too seriously.
“I think us ‘bulls’ were more of trying to keep that galloping up. People wanted to walk and wanted to jog, and that’s okay, but we’re bulls, we want to go crazy, we want to get the people going,” said Newbury.
The goal for the event is to continue it for years to come according to Morin. Next year, organizers will adapt to what did and didn’t work this year and implement those changes.