Splat! 50,000 pounds of rotten tomatoes, costumes and beer at Colorado Tomato Battle
The Colorado Tomato Battle at Dick's Sporting Goods Park Saturday was a mash-up of childhood frivolity and big-kid fun. Though the structure was more formal than the old Tomato Wars between Coloradans and Texans at Twin Lakes, the result was the same: utter chaos and tomato soup.
Denver's event kicked off a season of Tomato Battles that will splatter the U.S. this summer, and I'm going to take you into the heat of the action. Put on your festive costumes, find some safety goggles and get ready for beer, bands and a tomato fight.
Nathan Federico My battle uniform goes against instinct; it's fight or FIGHT.
Like other Tomato Battle events, the actual fight was preceded by tailgating, boozing, eating, dancing, singing and general merriment. Founders and organizers Max Kraner and Clint Nelson envisioned a fun and fierce event that mixes Spain's famous Tomatina and Germany's Oktoberfest into a saucy day of beer, bands and tomatoes. To get into the spirit of the day and a possible chance to win the costume contest, I dressed up in my armor (or lack thereof) of choice: a foxy football fighter. I left my house feeling strong and confident and sporting a swimsuit under my jersey, but the next few hours surprised even me.
My first glimpses of the event started in the parking lot. Everywhere I went, groups prepared for battle by applying the finishing touches to their costumes and, of course, enjoying a beer or two...or three...or four...before entering the arena. In true sportsmanship, I conducted a lightning-speed meet-and-greet while secretly flouting my ferocity and testing my competition. Though the Tomato Battle doesn't really have teams or a winner, I wanted to gain some allies and feel for potential threats. I quickly realized that everyone was a potential threat, especially the coordinated groups.
Nathan Federico Showing off my ferocity to tailgaters.
As a lone ranger, I was going to have to watch my back, front and sides at all times, but getting my face out there might keep me alive for a little longer.
Nathan Federico A gang of overall-clad rabblerousers is about to pull an Alice in Wonderland by painting their booties red.