‘Tomato Battle’ to cover fairgrounds in ketchup


Several things might come to mind when you hear the phrase “tomato battle.”

A really cheesy horror flick from the 1970s. Or remnants of the food fight in “Animal House.”  Or Shaun White making mincemeat of his opponents on the half-pipe at the Winter X Games.

The actual answer, though, is that Tomato Battle is a roving festival-style event topped off with attendees pelting each other with 300,000 pounds of overly ripe tomatoes.

And here’s the kicker: People all over the country actually buy tickets for this thing. And, the last Tomato Battle of the season takes place Saturday at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

As its website boasts, Tomato Battle is a full-fledged hybrid of “Spain’s La Tomatina tomato-throwing festival and Germany’s Oktoberfest.”

The seven-hour fete kicks off at noon with live music and flowing beer and other entertainment, followed by a 4 o’clock showdown in which everyone gets corralled like boozed-up wild animals and annihilated by expired Roma produce.

Think San Francisco’s annual Valentines Day pillow fight, except instead of being covered in feathers, you’re covered in pizza sauce. Or ketchup. Or whichever smashed-tomato product fits your fancy.

Organizers recommend attendees bring goggles and a change of clothes to go home in. Although, they do mention that they “rinse you off” before you leave.

They’re also pretty adamant about registering and buying one of their $50 tickets, so crashing the party on Saturday without one is out of the question.

For more information on this weekend’s Tomato Battle at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, go to the event’s Facebook page.

Bettin’ or Braggin’: Let there be blood

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