Inspired by a food fight between local kids in 1945, the event attracts thousands of tourists

Thousands of people have pelted each other with 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 tonnes 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 event was inspired by a food fight between local children in 1945. Photo / AP
The event was inspired by a food fight between local children in 1945. Photo / AP

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

Two women are pelted with tomatoes during the event. Photo / AP
Two women are pelted with tomatoes during the event. Photo / AP

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

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20,000 people were expected to take part in this year's fight. Photo / AP
20,000 people were expected to take part in this year's fight. Photo / AP

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

- AAP