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La Tomatina in Reno makes big ‘splat’ for American Cancer Society
by Tribune Staff
Aug 31, 2009 | 2466 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<a href= mailto:norme@dailysparkstribune.com>Tribune/Nathan Orme</a> - More than 5,000 people tossed tomatoes at each other Saturday night in what is being billed as North America's biggest food fight.
Tribune/Nathan Orme - More than 5,000 people tossed tomatoes at each other Saturday night in what is being billed as North America's biggest food fight.
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More than 25 tons of tomatoes flew in downtown Reno Saturday evening as the city hosted North America’s largest food fight.

The food fight fundraiser for the American Cancer Society raised more than $50,000 for cancer research, event organizers announced Sunday.

Due to the success of this year’s event, the tomato toss will be back again in 2010 with 50 tons of tomatoes, according to representatives from the Reno Sparks Convention and Tourism Authority.

Sparks Mayor Geno Martini and Reno Mayor Bob Cashell were pegged with a few of the inedible Roma tomatoes in an afternoon event that preceded the main fight.

“I wanted to make sure we raised a lot of money for the American Cancer Society, even if I had to be in the receiving end of a few overripe tomatoes,” Cashell said in a news release. “I can not think of any other city with a sense of humor as great as ours.”

“This was a great event for a great cause,” Martini added. “We did this to raise money for kids with cancer and it looks like some of our friends throwing tomatoes at us were having a little too much fun."

After the hour-long main event, the Reno Fire Department released a spray of water into the crowd, hosing the gunk off of participants. After the area cleared out, city workers came in with shovels, Bob Cats and squeegees to clean up the mess. The pulp was placed into dumpsters provided by Waste Management of Northern Nevada.

“Reno has done a lot of great events,” said Jeff Siri, chief executive officer of the Club Cal Neva and one of the event organizers. “But to the best of my knowledge, no other city in North America has ever seen an event quite like this one.”

A $10 donation was required to enter the fight. Proceeds from La Tomatina en Reno benefited the American Cancer Society.

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