Bullfighting Comes to Mississippi

A talk with Mario Loera, who is setting up Mississippi's first bullfighting ring. It is being shipped from Mexico, and the town hopes to hold bullfights by the end of this month.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

Newton, Mississippi, sits just about 60 miles east of Jackson. It's a small town that started as a stop for a stage coach line. During the Civil War, Newton became a major Mississippi Confederate medical center. The next big marker in this little town's history is a bullfighting ring. Mario Loera is the owner of the restaurant Mexico Lindo and he's bringing a bullfighting ring to Mississippi, the state's first. Senor Loera joins us from his restaurant.

Thanks very much for being with us.

Mr. MARIO LOERA (Mexico Lindo): OK, thank you very much.

SIMON: Where are you getting the bullfighting ring?

Mr. LOERA: From Placecalla(ph)--Placecalla, Mexico. This is one state for the bullfighters in Mexico. And the people who are coming with the bull ring make it in three or four days. It's ready for making the show.

SIMON: You used to be a bullfighter, right?

Mr. LOERA: Yes, sir.

SIMON: You're retired now?

Mr. LOERA: Yes, yes. I'm retired now because, well, I'm living here for 20 years, and I think this is a moment to make a beautiful show with the people.

SIMON: Now I've been told that the bulls will not be harmed.

Mr. LOERA: Well, I...

SIMON: Los toros no morte(ph).

Mr. LOERA: Yes. We don't kill the bulls. We don't ...(unintelligible).

SIMON: Hmm. So you just kind of run around with them?

Mr. LOERA: Right. It's to make the dominion for these animals.

SIMON: To make a dominion for them?

Mr. LOERA: Right, right.

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. LOERA: And we try to more shows with the charros. Do you know what is the charros?

SIMON: Are the charros the guys on the horses?

Mr. LOERA: Yes.

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. LOERA: The charroia with his caromoosa(ph) is going to lay this--dancing with the horses...

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. LOERA: ...and the music in the arena, and make exercise with the horses and make the dominion with the horses. We tried to make it everything for this.

SIMON: How many people will be able to be seated in your bull ring?

Mr. LOERA: Well, it's for more than 4,000 people.

SIMON: Four thousand?

Mr. LOERA: Yes, sir.

SIMON: When do you think the first bull fight will be held?

Mr. LOERA: October 29th?

SIMON: Oh, so it's coming up?

Mr. LOERA: Yes, yes, October 29th at 7:00 for all the people here in Mississippi.

SIMON: Well, thank you very much.

Mr. LOERA: Thank you, sir. Thank you.

SIMON: Mario Loera, who's bringing the first bullfighting ring in Newton, Mississippi. He also owns Mexico Lindo restaurant.

Twenty-two minutes before the hour.

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