BUNOL, Spain – Thousands of people are splattering each other with tons of tomatoes in the annual “Tomatina” battle in recession-hit Spain, with the debt-burdened town charging participants entry fees this year for the first time.

Bunol town says some 20,000 people are taking part in Wednesday’s hour-long street bash, inspired by a food fight among kids back in 1945.

Participants were this year charged 10 euros, or about $13, to foot the cost of the festival. Residents do not pay.

Bunol, with 10,000 inhabitants, has a debt of some 5 million euros.

The town said six trucks brought 130 tons of ripe tomatoes to the scene. Portable showers were set up for revelers to clean up after the battle.