An estimated 70 million euros in much needed tourism cash will be generated as the Spanish city of Pamplona more than trebles its population for the annual bull-running fiesta.
A sea of red and white dressed revellers – complete with liberal supplies of Spanish wine and sangria – gathered outside the City Hall on Friday to officially begin the party.
Roughly 20,000 people – mostly men – are expected to try to outrun the bulls over nine days, beginning on Saturday.
Around half a million visitors will be there to watch at a safe distance, perhaps from one of the city’s bars that have been given permission to stay open until 6.00am.
The festivities are not without controversy. Several people are injured each year when runners fall or get knocked over by the bulls.