Pleasanton Tomato Battle Draws Thousands Of Eager Participants (PHOTOS)

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It's an interesting way to blow off some steam.

Thousands swarmed the Alameda County Fair Grounds last Saturday to partake in the Northern California leg of Tomato Battle, a day-long event that's been popping up in cities across America. Inspired by Spain's annual La Tomatina festival, the event involves beer, bands and eager participants pummeling one another with sticky, semi-rotten tomatoes.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS)

The weekend's produce was purchased from a local food bank, and enthusiastic battlers came from all over the Bay Area to play in the slimy mush of expired fruit. "It's like a big, gushy, soft paintball fight," Livermore resident Kristen Swanson told the San Jose Mercury News.

Our friends at Pleasanton Patch were lucky enough to attend the big event. "This is most tomatoes we've had thus far in any of our events," Tomato Battle Founder Clint Nelson told Patch reporter Wendy Smith, noting that some 120,000 were used during the fight. "Northern California definitely brought it."

Nelson left a job in finance to create his traveling mob, and he's met great success along the way. Mercury News reported that more than 2,000 attended similar events at a Colorado ski resort and in Seattle earlier this year.

Take a look at images from the mayhem below, courtesy of Bea Ahbeck for Pleasanton Patch:

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Filed by Carly Schwartz