Food Fight! Thousands Duel In "Tomato Battle"

By: Richard Allyn
By: Richard Allyn

Thousands of people headed to San Diego Saturday for one messy festival.

Participants were all seeing red and were ready for a war...of sorts.

Reporter Richard Allyn takes us to the San Diego Tomato Battle.

"It was insane!"

It's a recipe for insanity.

Take 46-thousand pounds of tomatoes...

Add nearly three-thousand amped up and some boozed up folks itching for a fight...

"Pure chaos man."

and this is what you get.

"It's a war zone. You've gotta be ready for battle."

"Right when you walk in there's a lot of pushing a shoving."

the great tomato battle of 2012 San Diego style.

"It's truly awful in there. I'm kind of wondering why I paid money for this. It's terrifying."

And in this pit, no one or nothing is safe.

Not even our camera.

So why would anyone choose to do this?

"Why not? It's good fun."

"It's a chance to blow off some steam. Maybe hit some people in the face."

Some of these tomato warriors had other compelling reasons.

"Got a little bit of Italian blood in me so I wanted to make some pasta sauce out."

In fact, this sort of tomato fight is a tradition in Spain.

"Spain's really far away, so why not bring this to the states."

Clint Nelsen is one of the co-founders of the tomato battle.

He decided to add music and booze to American-ize the event.

"It's beer, bands, and a giant tomato fight. It's more fun than you're supposed to be able to have so it's like breaking all the rules."

And the battle will be waged once again next year.

And most of these tomato-stained combatants say they'd do it again.

"Yes will goggles and possibly shields."

"Hopefully next time with more tomatoes. I'd like to have a little more ammunition for an all-out war. Cause everyone's going down."

In case you're wondering, organizers say the giant tomato fight isn't a waste of food.

All of the tomatoes used during the event are no longer ripe and have been marked for disposal.

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