Popular Tomato Fights scheduled for Aug. 20 in Cooper’s Waterfront parking lot


Popular Tomato Fights set to splatter at Cooper’s

By Nick Wagner - nwagner@timesleader.com



Hundreds of people pack Cooper’s parking lot for the annual tomato fights.


Bill Tarutis File Photo | For Sunday Dispatch

Tomato fight fans watch from the safety of Cooper’s patio during last year’s Pittston Tomato Festival.


Bill Tarutis File Photo | For Sunday Dispatch

Port Griffith’s Jake Vaxmonsky chucks some tomatoes in 2015.


Bill Tarutis File Photo | For Sunday Dispatch

Participants go on the offensive at the annual tomato fights at the Pittston Tomato Festival in 2015.


Bill Tarutis File Photo | For Sunday Dispatch

Then-Pittston Mayor Mike Lombardo gets some tomatoes on the head from his teammates during the first tomato fights in 2002.


Sunday Dispatch File Photo

Dressed in a white tuxedo, Greg Searfoss, takes part in the Tomato Fights in 2010.


Aimee Dilger File Photo | Sunday Dispatch

The parking lot at Cooper’s Seafood Waterfront is about to be painted red — again.

The annual Pittston Tomato Festival Tomato Fights will take place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22 in the parking lot of Cooper’s, located at 304 Kennedy Blvd. The event has been a staple of the festival since 2002, when the first fight was held at Cooper’s.

Entry fee is $10 and includes protective eye goggles. T-shirts can be purchased for $12, and all participants must register in advance at Cooper’s. 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 parking lot 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.

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.

Hundreds of people pack Cooper’s parking lot for the annual tomato fights.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_SD_Tomato-Fights_5-1-.jpgHundreds of people pack Cooper’s parking lot for the annual tomato fights. Bill Tarutis File Photo | For Sunday Dispatch

Tomato fight fans watch from the safety of Cooper’s patio during last year’s Pittston Tomato Festival.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_SD_Tomato-Fights_5.jpgTomato fight fans watch from the safety of Cooper’s patio during last year’s Pittston Tomato Festival. Bill Tarutis File Photo | For Sunday Dispatch

Port Griffith’s Jake Vaxmonsky chucks some tomatoes in 2015.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_SD_Tomato-Fights_6-1-.jpgPort Griffith’s Jake Vaxmonsky chucks some tomatoes in 2015. Bill Tarutis File Photo | For Sunday Dispatch

Participants go on the offensive at the annual tomato fights at the Pittston Tomato Festival in 2015.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_PSD082315TomatoFights_1.jpgParticipants go on the offensive at the annual tomato fights at the Pittston Tomato Festival in 2015. Bill Tarutis File Photo | For Sunday Dispatch

Then-Pittston Mayor Mike Lombardo gets some tomatoes on the head from his teammates during the first tomato fights in 2002.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_0208230312.jpgThen-Pittston Mayor Mike Lombardo gets some tomatoes on the head from his teammates during the first tomato fights in 2002. Sunday Dispatch File Photo

Dressed in a white tuxedo, Greg Searfoss, takes part in the Tomato Fights in 2010.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_fight1.jpgDressed in a white tuxedo, Greg Searfoss, takes part in the Tomato Fights in 2010. Aimee Dilger File Photo | Sunday Dispatch
Popular Tomato Fights set to splatter at Cooper’s

By Nick Wagner

nwagner@timesleader.com

Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

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