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2010 Tomatina attracts around 40'000

Wed 25th Aug 2010

An estimated 40'000 participants from around the world pelted each other with tonnes of tomatoes today in the eastern Spanish town of Bunol.

The hour long food fight, known as the 'Tomatina', left the town bathed in a bright red sea of tomato pulp.

Bunol's toen council brought in around 100 tonnes of ripe tomatoes on trucks for the revellers who descended on the town of just 9,000 inhabitants for the annual festival, which has now taken place for over 60 years.

Some of those involved were shirtless while others wore old clothes, hard hats or goggles.

Afterwards, workers hosed down the walls and streets to remove the tomato pulp.

The Spanish media reported that the tomatoes had cost the town council around 28,000 euros, around 40% of the overall budget of 70,000 euros for the festival, most of which goes to pay for security, cleaning services, mobile toilets and civil protection.

Over 100 police and 120 local volunteers were on hand in case of incidents.

The Fiesta is held each year in the last Wednesday of August and is rumoured to have its origins as a food fight between childhood in the 1940's.

Over recent decades it has grown in size as international press coverage brought more and more people to the festival.

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