Spanish town painted red in annual tomato fight

AP News
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Posted: Aug 31, 2011 10:25 AM
Spanish town painted red in annual tomato fight

Tens of thousands of people pelted each other with 120 tons of ripe tomatoes Wednesday in an annual battle that left the eastern Spanish town of Bunol awash in red pulp.

Bunol's town hall estimated that around 40,000 people, including many tourists, took part in the hour-long street fight known as the "Tomatina," an event that has its roots in a food fight between childhood friends back in 1945.

Participants jumped and flopped in the sea of red mush as the they pelted each other with tomatoes, which are hurled at the crowds from five loaded trucks.

Those that participate are advised to wear goggles and old clothes for the fight. The town sets up portable showers and opens fire hydrants so that the revellers can shower themselves down once finished.

The town's streets and walls are hosed down shortly after the battle ends.