If You are Looking for Something Fun and Unusual to do this Summer, Try Spain's La Tomatina

La Tomatina looks like too much fun to be missed. The event was inspired by a food fight between local children in 1945 in Buñol, Spain, a tomato-producing region near Valencia. 20,000 people are expected again this year to throw about 120 tons of overripe tomatoes at strangers and friends. I'm told that works out to several hundred thousand tomatoes.

La Tomatina is held on the last Wednesday of August in the village of Buñol which has a normal population of just 10,000. This year it falls on August 28th. There aren't a lot of hotel rooms in the village, so most participants stay in the beautiful coastal city of Valencia and travel by bus or train to Buñol, about 20 miles outside the city. The trip takes about 40 minutes.

In preparation for the mess, shopkeepers use huge plastic covers on their storefronts in order to protect them. Thousands of scantily-clad locals and tourists start gathering in the morning to prepare for the event by downing local beers and wines. Many bring goggles to protect their eyes from flying pulp. Then at 11:00 sharp the battle begins and continues for an hour.

Organizers hose the streets down within minutes after the end of the event, while participants make use of public showers or get hosed down by friendly residents.

Though the food-fight lasts only an hour, the festival now lasts nearly a week, with parades, live music and parties throughout the village.

La Tomatina has become quite popular so if you have some interest in going you will have to purchase tickets in advance to claim your spot in Europe's messiest summer festival. You can get tickets to La Tomatina and the before and after parties here.

Best locals advice: bring goggles and don't wear clothing that you ever intend to wear again!

Photo Credit: Aaron Smith

Photo credits [1st and 3rd photos]: flydime

#Travel #tomatina

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