La Tomatina: Epic tomato fight leaves Spanish town stained by saucy skirmish – National

Food fight!

More than 20,000 people showed up in Bunol, Spain, on Wednesday to paint the town red by chucking tomatoes at anyone and everyone in sight, as part of the traditional La Tomatina festival.

The annual food fight has become a major tourist attraction for Bunol, a small town in the tomato-producing region of eastern Spain.

Six trucks rolled through town to arm combatants with 145 tonnes of tomatoes Wednesday morning. Then the participants let the tomatoes fly in the world’s most impressive food fight, which has been held annually for more than 70 years.

Revellers on a truck throw tomatoes into the crowd during the annual “La Tomatina” food fight festival in Bunol, near Valencia, Spain, August 28, 2019.

REUTERS/Heino Kalis

Participants donned swim goggles to protect their eyes and peppered each other with plump tomatoes throughout the morning, until the traditional tomato truce took effect at noon.

Revellers react during the annual “La Tomatina” food fight festival in Bunol, near Valencia, Spain, August 28, 2019.

REUTERS/Juan Medina

The saucy showdown left the streets bathed in pulp and tomato juice. City organizers broke out the fire hoses to flush the carnage away.

“It was a laugh a minute,” U.K. tourist Abby Tacktee, 28, told The Associated Press. “It’s just amazing. Absolutely loved every minute of it.”

Revellers throw tomatoes during the annual “La Tomatina” food fight festival in Bunol, near Valencia, Spain, August 28, 2019.

REUTERS/Juan Medina

Organizers charge 12 euros for a ticket, with 5,000 tickets reserved for locals and another 17,000 made available for tourists.

Tomato tossers often wear white shirts to the event, just to let the tomatoes stain them red.

A reveller lies in tomato pulp during the annual “La Tomatina” tomato food fight festival in Bunol, near Valencia, Spain, August 28, 2019.

REUTERS/Heino Kalis

The event is said to have started with a spontaneous food fight in 1945. It was banned through the 1950s under Spain’s dictator, General Francisco Franco.

It was reinstated after his rule ended, and locals have been trying to make up — or ketchup — for lost time ever since.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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