La Tomatina festival: 20,000 people, 130 tons of tomatoes, 1 big mess

Want to know what a food fight looks like with 20,000 goggle-wearing people and 130 tons of tomatoes? It’s called La Tomatina, and it happens every year in Buñol, Spain.

The weeklong festival in the town with 9,000 inhabitants is a tradition that involves music, parades, dancing, fireworks and the biggest tomato fight in the world, according to the La Tomatina website.

This is the first year participants were asked to pay a fee, reported ABC News. People had to pay $15 to show up and throw tomatoes at each other. Organizers reserved 5,000 free tickets for the town’s residents.


PHOTOS: La Tomatina Festival 2013

Around 11 a.m. Wednesday, trucks hauled 130 tons of overly ripe tomatoes into Plaza del Pueblo, the center of the town. If you wanted to be on one of those big trucks, the fee was $1,126.

The firing of water cannons signaled the beggining of the fight. Participants were encouraged to wear safety goggles and gloves. According to the photos, people ran around half-naked and threw squished tomatoes at each other. They also laid around on the ground in massive pools of tomato juice.

The fight lasted for an hour, then the water cannons fired once more to let everyone know it was over. Fire trucks are needed to hose down the streets to clean up the mess.

This festival brought to mind at least 10 other things that would be fun to throw around while roaming the streets of Los Angeles half-naked. They include nacho cheese (lukewarm of course), pickles, chili (also lukewarm), Coke Slurpees, ranch dressing, sriracha (ooh, the burn), melted dark chocolate, caramel, grilled cheese sandwiches and sushi. Could a downtown L.A. nacho cheese fest happen?


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