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Return of the attack of the flying tomatoes

As they pummel each other in the face with tomatoes Saturday at Tobacco Road's Flying Tomato Smash and Bash, some 'mater-hurling revelers may inquire: Are these vegetables locally sourced?

"Nobody will be asking that," says James Goll, the Smash and Bash organizer and Tobacco Road's marketing director, with a laugh. But for those who do ask, he says, about 50,000 tomatoes will be hauled in via dump truck from owner Patrick Gleber's tomato farm in Homestead, and unloaded in the parking lot of Miami's oldest-surviving bar.

Then, for one hour, it's a flat-out tomato fight.

"A lot of people brought goggles, snorkels, some full masks last year. A lot of people dress up in crazy wigs. The tomatoes will be at their peak, soft ripeness, so not too many people will get hurt," says Goll, quickly adding the bar's abundance of "waiver forms" participants sign during registration.

This Saturday's tomato-guts-aplenty outing was nearly juiced off the calendar by last weekend's cold snap, he says. The event is modeled after Bunol, Spain's annual La Tomatina Festival.

"What was the most fun last year, and it just kind of organically happened that way, was people started chanting, "Ole, ole, ole" like at a soccer match," Goll says. "In reality, it's just 1,000 strangers coming together to smash tomatoes in each other's faces."

The Flying Tomato Smash and Bash runs noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Tobacco Road, 626 S Miami Ave., in Miami, and features bands, DJs and food. Free for spectators, $20 for participants and includes draft beer. 305-374-1198 or

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