Away From The Bull Run

Five minutes of terror and adrenaline shouldn’t define the world’s best street party

Isn’t it time we rethought the running of the bulls? For centuries mostly young men have been putting themselves in harm’s way, and sure they will continue to do so. For some it’s cruel and for others it’s dangerous, but if running with the bulls is something for you, an item on your bucket list, it will be there and if you want to do it you will. But we feel like there is too much focus on that one part of the festival, too much emphasis on a five minute event that takes away from the other sides of Spain’s most famous party.

We much prefer the other 23 hours and 55 minutes of each day of the festival. The 23 hours and 55 minutes that sees young people from around Pamplona, Spain and the world throwing caution to the wind and sangria down the throat. The 23 hours and 55 minutes that grandparents and babies and everybody in between can all enjoy, when the streets swell and then clog with partiers of all ages and from all countries to drink wine and dance and become temporary best friends with each other.

This year Stoke Travel is focusing on the 23 hours and 55 minutes of San Fermin, the local name for the festival, that isn’t about the bull run. YES if you want to run we will still take you, show you how it’s done and make sure you’re safe, but we’re also providing plenty of opportunity for people who don’t want to run to enjoy what is Spain’s biggest street party, if not one of the biggest in the world.

We’re going to be in the lanes, squares and streets partying with the locals. We’ll be in the parks drinking sangria and watching the fireworks. We’ll be dancing to live music in the main plaza, to marching bands in the streets and to DJs in the smaller squares.

You’ll find us in the bars and the restaurants, we’ll be eating tapas to refuel us, old ladies will invite us to try the stew they’ve made every San Fermin since they can remember. Wherever there’s a paella pan you’ll be sure to find someone from Stoke sharing the Spanish dish, taking a break between bouts of partying madness in the streets.

And when we return home to our campsite, battered and happy, white clothes soaked purple with sangria it won’t be to rest, because this year Stoke is taking the “festival within a festival” idea to new, literal heights. This year all Stokies will be returning from the Pamplona street parties to Stoked in the Park, a place where the live music and DJs continue, where our open and unlimited beer and sangria bar flows all day and where you can find something stronger in the night. Stoked in the Park will be friendly sporting matches, grassy and shaded chillout areas, food trucks and local wine merchants complimenting the two free meals that we prepare daily.

But maybe the feature of Stoked in the Park will be the parties, the pool parties and the concerts and the danceparties, the perfect way to pre-prepare for a day or night roaming the Pamplona streets, or to wind down after you stumble home. Events where young people from all walks of life from every corner of the globe can get down together and enjoy travelling and just being in Spain, under that bright Spanish sun and continuing until all you can see are stars in the clear sky.

Yeah, sure, some people like the running of the bulls, but it’s the other 23 hours and 55 minutes that we’re looking forward to. And we bet that you are too.

Stoked in the Park runs every day of Pamplona’s San Fermin festival, before and after the daily bull runs. The first 1000 people to book their running of the bulls trip between now and the end of February will receive FREE unlimited beer and sangria at our campsite, as well as FREE entry to Stoked in the Park. Just use the promocode STOKEDINTHEPARK when booking your trip. 

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