Tomato, tomahto, just throw it
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In Spain, it’s called “La Tomatina,” an annual tomato-throwing festival held in the town of Buñol. In Brooklyn it’s called Tomato Battle, and starting at noon this Saturday, July 20, thousands of people will be hurling tons of overripe tomatoes at each other, all while listening to bands and drinking beer at the Aviator Sports complex at Floyd Bennett Field.
Amazingly, people are paying $50 to do this, unless they snag a discount code at online deal sights like LivingSocial, where more than 2,000 people have already obtained half-price tickets.
Two West Coast startup types, Clint Nelsen and Max Kraner founded Tomato Battle, and they plan more of the messy events across the country as the tomato season unfolds.
For those who say this is just a big, fat waste of food, the founders explain on their website that the tomatoes “are past ripe and can’t be sold. They are inedible and are not fit for human consumption.” (Though tomato sauce makers might dispute this.)
Participants are advised not to wear their best clothes, and they must read a “battle manual” and sign a “tomato liability waiver” before coming. The winners of a tomato costume contest will be the first contestants allowed onto the field of tomato battle.
Eye protection, such as swimming goggles or sunglasses, is recommended (tomatoes are acidic), as well as shoes with a good tread (tomatoes are slippery).
For the more combative participants, note that there are some banned items. “All tomato acceleration devices are banned including but not limited to potato guns, water balloon launchers, dog tennis ball throwers, rackets, paddles, bats,” say the organizers. Also note that the event is limited to people over the age of 14.
The organizers say, “Bring a change of clothes for after the battle– unless you want to leave a ketchup trail your entire way home.” Tide, the main sponsor, will distribute samples of Tide VIVID White + Bright Boost after the battle “to help remove those pesky stains that might linger after the messy tomato fight.”
In the event of a tomato shortage, the organizers will hold a giant mud battle. “The event will go on as planned but with mud instead of tomatoes,” they say.
More details at www.aviatorsports.com/content/tomato-battle