Tomato battle leaves Spanish town awash in red pulp

Crowds of people throw tomatoes at each other, during the annual "Tomatina", tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. (AP)

BUNOL, Spain (AP) — Thousands of people have pelted each other with tons of ripe tomatoes, creating a red, mushy mess in the annual “Tomatina” street battle in eastern Spain.

At the fiesta in Bunol on Wednesday, 160 tons of tomatoes were offloaded from six trucks into the crowd packing the town’s streets for the hour-long battle that attracts many foreigners.

The fight leaves the participants — many donning swimming goggles to protect their eyes — and the town’s streets drenched in red pulp. Organizers then hose the streets down within minutes of the event ending at noon, while participants can use public showers.

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

Some 20,000 people were expected to take part in this year’s fight.