A convoy of six trucks laden with almost 150 tonnes trundled through the towns narrow streets as teams onboard distributed an estimated 180,000 tomatoes to the crowds ahead of the epic squishy battle.
At 11am on the dot, the battle commences and lasts for one hour turning the streets into tomatoey mush and the walls daubed with seedy splats.
The iconic fiesta, billed at “the world's biggest food fight,” has become a major draw for foreigners, in particular from Britain, Japan, Australia and the United States Buñol city hall estimates that only one-fifth of the roughly 22,000 participants each year are from Spain.
Organizers recommend participants squish the tomatoes before throwing them – “the hit will be less painful” – wear old clothes and use goggles to protect their eyes from the fruit's acid.
Non-resident participants are charged €10 ($11.50) to take part and tickets are limited to 17,000 to restrict numbers and prevent the festival from getting out of hand. The town reserves 5,000 free tickets for residents.
Before ticket sales were introduced the food fight drew over 45,000 revellers to the town.
The Tomatina started in 1945 when locals brawling in the street at a folk festival seized tomatoes from a greengrocer's stall and let loose.
And after the tomatoey battle is over, the clean up begins.