World’s biggest tomato fight is cancelled
The world’s biggest and most famous tomato fight, La Tomatina in Spain, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The event, in which 20,000 revellers pelt each
other with ripe tomatoes, is held each summer in the town of Bunol in the
province of Valencia. It attracts competitors and spectators from all over the
globe and is considered one of the biggest street fiestas in Spain. This year
would have been the 75th anniversary.
This year’s Tomatina was to have been held in
August but Bunol council confirmed today that it has become the latest casualty
of the COVID-19 crisis.
Confirming the news, the mayor Juncal
Carrascosa said they were adhering to their responsibilities during the
pandemic and cancelling the celebrations.
This is the first time the tomato-throwing
party has been axed since 1957 and that was due to political reasons.
“There is no escaping how difficult it
would be to organise our most international party under these conditions, where
the optimal conditions of sanitary control for the participants could not be
guaranteed,” she said.
Juncal Carrascosa said deputy mayor, María
Valles, the councillor in charge of the fiesta organisation, had raised the
issue of cancelling La Tomatina with the local council and it had been
unanimously agreed. An announcement was not due to be made until April 27th but
as the decision had been leaked, it was decided to make a formal announcement.
María Vallés said they were already working on
ways to keep the festival alive and current and assured that the 2021 edition
would be held as normal.
“We have to look to the future at all
times, with the certainty that all this will happen. We have had to live a
complex situation that had not been produced so far and we are facing it, with
the spirit implicit in Tomatina herself, fighting peacefully to beat the virus,
” she said.
Likewise, the 2021 event would celebrate the
belated 75th anniversary under the slogan 75 plus one.
“Such an outstanding anniversary must be
celebrated as a milestone of this importance requires and not be tarnished by a
negative situation,” said Maria Valles.
“Extending the 75th anniversary to 2021
is not a postponement but an extension, thus offering more content and more
milestones that further enhance the Tomatina festival.”
Mayor Juncal Carrascosa said she hoped news of
the cancellation would be greeted with calm and in the spirit in which it was
taken ie to preserve people’s health and not to put them at risk, despite its
vast tourism appeal and income.
“All the decisions that have been made
during this Covid-19 crisis have always been made with the common good in mind
and with the certainty that we will recover normality and Tomatina will return
to dye the streets of Buño,” she pledged.