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Running of the bulls coming to Va. county

Wednesday - 4/24/2013, 2:43pm  ET

WASHINGTON - Spain's annual running of the bulls event is coming to Virginia this summer.

The Virginia Motorsports Park in Dinwiddie County will host the Great Bull Run in August, an event which is expected to draw thousands.

The event is the first in a series of 10 bull runs across the country. After the event in Dinwiddie County, which sits an hour south of Richmond, the tour continues to cities like Chicago and Houston. A tomato fight follows the running of the bulls, just like the event in Pamplona, Spain.

The Virginia Motorsports park seats 30,000 and while it has hosted big events in the past, county officials say they don't quite know how many people to expect.

"The projected number of people they're thinking will attend this event is going to be such that I think the hotels not only in Dinwiddie, but in the area will probably fill," says Brian Mancini director of Parks Recreation and Tourism for the county.

Mancini plans to work with area restaurants and businesses to have everything open in the county during that weekend to take advantage of the spike in visitors.

"The curiosity for the event is phenomenal. Because you're getting people inquiring about the event from multiple states, to all around Virginia, to just locally," Mancini says.

There's no question the race is good for local businesses, Mancini says. But in a farming community, some residents are wondering whether the event is good for the animals.

"You have people who say bring it on. Let's have the bulls. Let's have the tomato fight. Then, you have people that wonder if the animals are being harmed or if anything is going on," Mancini says of the local reaction to the event.

CBS 6 in Central Virginia spoke with Virginia Motorsports Park's Bryan Pierce. He did not return multiple calls from WTOP.

The course is a quarter mile run, where participants will have the option to dodge the bulls if necessary.

"There'll be area for them to exit over the wall if they need to -- or get out of the way of the bulls," Pierce tells CBS 6.

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