Travel briefs

‘Chupinazo’ firework

launches bull racing festival

PAMPLONA, Spain (AP) — A traditional firework known as the “Chupinazo” kicked off Pamplona’s famed San Fermin running of the bulls festival on Friday.

Two members of a local music band, both with Down syndrome, launched the rocket from the northern Spanish city’s townhall balcony at noon, prompting cries of joy from thousands packed in the square below.

Amid shouts in Basque and Spanish of “Long life to San Fermin,” the saint honoured by the festival, people in the crowd wore the festival’s typical red scarf and sprayed each other with wine, staining the traditional white attire.

The nine-day fiesta was immortalized by American novelist Ernest Hemingway and draws around one million visitors.

For eight consecutive mornings, daredevils race with bulls along a 930-yard street course to the city’s bullring.

Peach war gets juicy in Georgia, South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — It might be one of the sweetest battles on record, but the peach war is really starting to get juicy.

Georgia is officially known as the Peach State, boasting bountiful harvests of the succulent, fuzzy fruits. But earlier this week, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture took to Twitter to point out that the Palmetto State actually produces three times as many peaches as the official Peach State.

That spawned a good-natured online back-and-forth between the neighboring states, with Georgia’s Department of Agriculture tweeting that its fruits are “3 X SWEETER.”

The South Carolina Agriculture Department has said the state’s peach crop is usually valued at $90 million annually.

Elephant at Tennessee

sanctuary turning 70

HOHENWALD, Tenn. (AP) — This is a birthday to remember.

News outlets report Shirley the Asian elephant turned 70 at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee on Friday.

The elephant’s milestone is significant: The average lifespan is 42 years for captive Asian pachyderms and 47 for captive African elephants.

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