Photo Gallery- 2012 Fermin fiestas – Running of the bulls festival
By The Associated Press Published: July 6, 2012 03:40PM
Updated: July 6, 2012 03:42PM
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Revelers hold up traditional red neckties during the 'Chupinazo', the official opening of the 2012 San Fermin fiestas, Friday, July 6, 2012 in Pamplona, Spain. Revelers from around the world kick off the San Fermin festival with a messy party in the Pamplona town square, one day before the first of eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

PAMPLONA, Spain — Tens of thousands of revelers showered each other with sparkling wine and waved red kerchiefs Friday as the blast of a small rocket signaled the start of this year’s running of the bulls.Spain’s most famous summer festival kicked off in the jam-packed and cobblestoned main square of the northern town of Pamplona. People from around the world, many wearing the traditional red kerchief and white shirt and pants, roared their approval as an official on a city hall balcony declared the San Fermin festival under way. He then lit the rocket, its boom echoing through the plaza.