Tomato fight makes national ‘Bucket List’

June 27th, 2015 1:24 am

First Posted: 7/2/2013

It’s an adventure, all right.

The tomato fight, a highlight of the annual Pittston Tomato Festival, was named by Outside magazine to its “2013 Adventure Bucket List.”

“Win a Food Fight” at the Tomato Festival was Pennsylvania’s entry. A bucket list is a list of things you hope to do before you die.

Kate Siber, the Outside magazine correspondent who prepared the list, was looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in each state.

“I have a few friends in that area and they said that was completely unique,” she said. “Pennsylvania has so many different outdoor events to choose from, but I thought this was was really different.”

The writeup included:

“For those who never experienced a cafeteria-wide food fight in high school, there is the Pittston Tomato Festival in Pittston, Pennsylvania. Over 50,000 people come to the four-day festival, which includes a parade, tomato-growing contest, a marinara-sauce cook-off, a lot of good food, and a 5k run, but only 150 get to participate in the tomato fight. $5 gets you unlimited boxes of rotten tomatoes, a pair of protective goggles and free rein to pummel the other team. Remember: Ducking is just as important as throwing.”

Festival organizers said 350 cases of near-rotten tomatoes weighing more than 5 tons were used in the 2012 event.

Tomato Festival co-chairwoman Lori Nocito said the festival is getting the national recognition it deserves.

“That’s fantastic!” she said. “We know how much fun it is and we’re glad others outside of the area are seeing that as well.”

Nocito said the festival has been recognized in other national publications, including Parade Magazine and the Washington Post.

“The Tomato Festival Committee works hard to make sure everyone who comes has an enjoyable time, whether they’re from Pittston or across the country,” Nocito said. “We’re honored to be honored.”

Some bucket-list adventures in other states include meeting a grizzly bear in Alaska, skiing down a volcano in California, entering a pie-eating contest in Indiana, going dogsledding in Minnesota, winning at blackjack in Nevada, biking the wineries of New York, kiteboarding in Texas and backpacking the Wind River Range in Wyoming.

“Outside” is a popular magazine focused on the outdoors. It has been publishing since 1977. The magazine’s mission to “inspire participation in the world outside through award-winning coverage of the sports, people, places, adventures, discoveries, environmental issues, health and fitness, gear and apparel, trends and events that define the active lifestyle.”

The 30th Annual Pittston Tomato Festival will be held Thursday, Aug. 15 to Aug. 18. The Tomato Fights are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 in the parking lot of Cooper’s on the Waterfront on Kennedy Boulevard .

The bucket list can be viewed at