Spanish town charges fee for annual tomato fight

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‘TOMATINA’ People throw tomatoes at each other during the annual “tomatina” tomato fight fiesta in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain on Wednesday. AP

BUNOL, Spain — Thousands of people are splattering each other with tons of tomatoes in the annual “Tomatina” battle in recession-hit Spain, with the debt-burdened town charging participants entry fees this year for the first time.

Bunol town says some 20,000 people are taking part in Wednesday’s hour-long street bash, inspired by a food fight among kids back in 1945.

Participants were this year charged 10 euros ($13) to foot the cost of the festival. Residents do not pay.

Bunol, with 10,000 inhabitants, has a debt of some 5 million euros.

The town said six trucks brought 130 tons of ripe tomatoes to the scene. Portable showers were set up for revelers to clean up after the battle.

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