‘World’s largest food fight’: Best photos from ‘Tomatina’ tomato street fight in Spain

The“Tomatina” annual street tomato fight attracts thousands of people who are itching to catapult squishy tomatoes at one another to one magnificently messy event.

The hour-long battle, dubbed the “world’s largest food fight,” made a triumphant return Wednesday after a two-year hiatus due to COVID, with nearly 27,000 pounds of over-ripe tomatoes. Up to 20,000 people crammed into the streets of Buñol, Spain, a small eastern town with a population of around 9,000.

Since the event garnered more national and global media attention around the 1980s, thousands of people from around the world have trekked to paint Buñol red with pulp. 

The event – which was inspired by a food fight between local children in 1945 – marked its 75th anniversary this year and 20 years since the festival was declared by Spain as an international tourism attraction.

See the best photos from this saucy celebration. 

Participants throw tomatoes at each other during the annual "Tomatina", tomato fight fiesta in the village of Bunol near Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. The tomato fight took place once again following a two-year suspension owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Participants covered in tomato pulp embrace at the annual "Tomatina" festiva on August 31, 2022. Some 15,000 people took part in this food fight, with nearly 29,000 pounds of ripe tomatoes as ammunition, according to figures provided by the town hall.
Participants throw tomatoes at each other during the annual "Tomatina"tomato fight Aug. 31, 2022.
Revelers enjoy the atmosphere in tomato pulp while participating the annual Tomatina festival on August 31, 2022 in Bunol, Spain.
A "Tomatina" participant lies on a street flooded with crushed tomato during the annual festival August 31, 2022.
Revellers covered in tomato pulp while participating the annual Tomatina festival on August 31, 2022 in Bunol, Spain. The world's largest food fight festival, La Tomatina, consists of throwing overripe and low-quality tomatoes at each other.
People hose off participants in front of the Town Hall taking part in the annual "Tomatina" festival. The iconic fiesta, which is billed as "the world's biggest food fight" has become a major draw for foreigners, in particular from Britain, Japan and the United States.
A person lies in tomato pulp while participating the annual Tomatina festival on August 31, 2022 in Bunol, Spain.
Thee participants lie in a puddle of squashed tomatoes during the annual "Tomatina", tomato fight fiesta Aug. 31, 2022.
Participants throw tomatoes at each other during the annual "Tomatina" tomato fight fiesta Aug. 31, 2022.

Contributing: Associated Press

Camille Fine is a trending visual producer on USA TODAY’s NOW team.