Annual tomato battle leaves Spanish town red

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BUNOL, Spain (AP) — The streets of an eastern Spanish town are awash with red pulp as thousands of people pelt each other with tomatoes in the annual "Tomatina" battle that has become a major tourist attraction.

At the annual fiesta in Bunol on Wednesday, trucks dumped 125 tons of ripe tomatoes for some 22,000 participants —many from abroad — to throw during the hour-long morning festivities.

This was the second year non-resident participants were charged — 10 euros ($13) — to take part. The town of about 20,000 people began charging to help pay off debts of some 5.5 million euros. The event was sold out weeks ahead.

The event was inspired by a food fight between local children in 1945 in the tomato-producing region.