JOPLIN, Mo. —
Shaun Steele can’t resist: If someone asks him whether the Running of the Bulls event uses real bulls, it takes him a while to get to the truth.
“Quite a few think we use real bulls,” Steele said. “I lead them on for a little bit, let them think what they want, then I break the news that we use roller derby girls.”
The bulls are ready to run Thursday as part of Third Thursday events. As part of the run, members of the Mo-Kan Roller Girlz add horns to their costumes and arm themselves with foam bats and other relatively safe weapons. Giving runners a head start, they skate after the runners and get a few whacks in.
The event is modeled after the famous San Fermin Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain. Steele has been to that event twice, and last year introduced a similar run as a fundraiser for St. Mary’s Elementary School.
Last year’s event, held in October, had more than 50 runners dressed in red and white. Steele said he hopes for more than 200 this year, and moved the run to a July date that more closely matches when the San Fermin festival is held.
And if enough join, the event might get big enough to run as a standalone festival, he said.
“If this gets big enough, I’d like to make it into an actual festival, set to coincide (with San Fermin),” Steele said. “I’d like to do a weekend full of events.”
This year’s event will raise money for Ronald McDonald House and Joplin Area Catholic Schools.
Running costs $10; runners are required to wear red and white clothes and appropriate footwear.
Prizes will be awarded for the best-dressed individual, group and family and others.
The run begins at 8 p.m., and registration starts at 5 p.m. The run will begin outside of Club 609, located at 609 S. Main St. Details: joplinbulls.com.
Other Third Thursday events
Other events held during Third Thursday include:
- A car cruise at Seventh and Main.
- Farmers market next to City Hall.
- Tennis on Fifth Street.
- Armored combat by Creative Anachronism near Fourth Street.
- Outdoor cafes at Club 609 and Caldone’s Restaurant.
Live performances include:
- On the Edge at Second and Main streets.
- Poetry in the Park at Spiva Park.
- Ben Miller Band at Joplin Public Library.
- “Wild West Joplin,” by Dream Theatre Company, at Christman Event Center, located at 501 S. Main St.
- Spiva’s Music and Mayhem Students, Heartland Opera Theatre, Joplin Little Theatre, a sax trio, guitarist David Spillers and more at the Dance Universe Stage, located at Sixth and Main streets.
- Afterparties at Whiskey Dick’s, JB’s Piano Bar, Kitchen Pass, Blackthorn Pizza and Pub, Pla-mor Lounge and Dive Bar.
Artists displaying creations include:
- Midwest Clay Artists and Steve and Cindy Head at Mystery Gallery, 514 S. Main St.
- Ruth Atchley, Raelynn Willis & Linda Teeter, D J Bates, Patsy Vananda, Dylan Garrison, Phillip Ledbetter, Dustin Miller, Gary Royse, Sherry Royse and Kristen Girard at Central Gallery, 425 S. Main St.
- Rebecca Bristow, Marta Churchwell, Brenda Hayes-Jean Waldron, Joan Stattel, Alex Davis, and Christina Lorenzen at Frisco Gallery, 601 S. Main St.
- Robert X. Fogarty and the exhibits “Photos from the Storm” and “Memories in the Making” at Spiva Center for the Arts, Third and Wall streets.
- Ross Gipson at Post Memorial Art Library, 300 S. Main St.
- MSSU art students at Focal Point Gallery, 525 S. Main St.
- Paul Pfrehm at Phoenix Fired Art, 1603 S. Main St.
- MM Kent and 16 other artists at Local Color Art Gallery, 1027 S. Main St.
- Brent Cosby and Wade utter at Blacklist Ink, 628 S. Main St.
- Elizabeth Cosby, Drew Kimble and Aleesa Evans at Cell Phone Medics Gallery, 512 S. Main St.
- Pam Leisenring and Andrew Batcheller at Joplin Avenue Coffee Co., 506 S. Joplin Ave.
- Mark Neueunschwander at 9Art, 424 S. Main St.
- Jason Brookshire and Ramon Luna at Club 609, 609 S. Main St.