Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Tomato battle now comes at a price

A Spanish town has been forced to charge an entry fee for its annual tomato battle (AP)

An annual public tomato battle enjoyed by thousands for more than 60 years in a Spanish town is charging an entry fee for the first time, a symptom of the country's mounting public debt.

The Tomatina festival in Bunol attracts about 20,000 people to its hour-long street bash, inspired by a food fight among children in 1945.

Participants were this year charged 10 euros (£8.60) to cover the costs. Residents do not pay.

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

Six trucks took 130 tons of ripe tomatoes to the scene. Portable showers were set up for revellers to clean up after the battle.

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