Grab your goggles and white T-shirts, the popular Pittston Tomato Festival Tomato Fights will be back to paint Kennedy Boulevard red.
The contest will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22 in the parking lot of Cooper’s Seafood House, located at 304 Kennedy Blvd.
Entry fee is $8 and includes protective eye goggles. T-shirts can be purchased for $12, and all participants must register in advance on Saturday at Cooper’s Seafood House. Space is limited to the first 150 people, and participants must be at least 15 years of age.
The event is sponsored by Cooper’s and all proceeds will benefit Greater Pittston charities.
The Tomato Fights feature truckloads of tomatoes being dumped into the town square and everyone is fair game as they crush and throw tomatoes at each other.
With over 5,000 pounds of rotten and squished tomatoes being used, the fights will last around five minutes and participants will divide and face off in a battle in which there are no losers.
The trick is not only to gather and throw, but also to duck and throw.
Nicole Best, general manager of Cooper’s in Pittston, is a big fan of the fights, but not just because of the tomato throwing.
“My favorite thing about the fights is where all the money goes to,” she said. “I love that the community comes together to participate and volunteer their time and then the money goes towards the food banks in the local community. It’s a lot of fun for a very good cause.”
The tradition of the tomato fights first began in 1944 in Bunol, Spain, and it is safe to say local participants are happy that Pittston adopted the event.
The cleanup process involves bulldozers scraping up the tomatoes and fire hoses washing the red off the parking lot. The tomatoes are then ground up and dumped into the sewers.