Would You Welcome This Festival to Rockford?
Folks in Bunol, Spain get together every year and throw 30,000 pounds of tomatoes at each other in an event they call "La Tomatina." Well, we have tomatoes here, too.
From USA Today:
The splattering unfolds each year on the last Wednesday of August in Bunol, a town of some 9,000 residents, but its origins remain unclear.
The tradition dates back to the 1940s, inspired, some say, by angry townspeople who hurled tomatoes at city councilmen. Others claimed it began with a similarly friendly food fight between friends.
The now major tourist attraction only picked up steam in the decades since, save for a stretch of years under Francisco Franco, the Spanish dictator who banned it for lacking a religious connection. But the event quickly returned when he left power in 1975, The Smithsonian notes.
Unless you're part of the very unfortunate crew tasked with the clean-up, what's not to love about this annual tradition?
I've got to admit that the idea of downtown Rockford engaging in an all-out tomato-hurling food fight has a certain appeal. And, judging by the quick straw-poll I held in the hallway here at the radio station, we'd have no shortage of participants.
The sure don't have a problem drawing people to Bunol.
So, Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and Rockford River District, what do you think? Are you aboard for this?