Pillow Fight Day is a hit
Feathers layered the park an inch thick, floating into passerbys eyes and mouths. Taylor Branch, 19, of Northridge, wore a surgical mask over her mouth to protect herself from the onslaught of feathers floating through the air due to the pillow fight. "There are feathers everywhere, there's like five inches of feathers to step in, and when the wind comes and when people are hitting you, it gets in your nose, it gets in your mouth, it gets in your eyes, so a mask, it helps." At least 132 cities around the world participated in International Pillow Fight Day this past Saturday, April 2nd, 2011. The website pillowfightday.com lists the suggested rules as follows "Soft Pillows only! Swing lightly, many people will be swinging at once. Do not swing at people without pillows or with cameras. Remove glasses beforehand! The event is free and appropriate for all ages. Wait until the signal to begin. This event is more fun with feathers!"
The Los Angeles pillow fight was held at 2 p.m. in Pershing Square this past Saturday, April 2nd. Hundreds of people gathered, bringing pillows, stuffed animals, and swim flotation noodles with them to wallop and smack each other with. People were dressed in outfits ranging from giant bananas to masked Mexican Lucha Libre wrestlers. One attendee, Leo Romero, otherwise known as "Loco Coco", said he had come all the way from Oregon to partake in the Spectacle. He was dressed in shoulder pads and a gold luchadore Mexican wrestler mask and carried a normal sized, white pillow. "I would call it [the pillow fight] a victory for me"
News of the pillow fight first reached people in all different ways. Many people reported hearing about it from a friend, either by word of mouth, or through the website Facebook.com. "I got an invitation to come to an International Pillow fight. It seemed pretty impressive from the pictures and it showed cities from all over the world, like Bordo and Barcelona and Madrid," said Majib Jan.
Not everyone in attendance was celebrating. One woman could be seen standing on top of the stairs at the end of Pershing Square, shouting at the crowd with a megaphone. The woman, identified as Louise Capone, was the Senior Recreation Director at Pershing Square. She said the park had absolutely nothing to do with the pillow fight, and that no permits had been issued. "I knew two days ago it was gonna happen, and it usually happens sometime in April. I come down here just to make sure that everybody maintains the park rules, that everybody has a safe time, that they help clean up."
The website pillowfightday.com states explicitly on their site to not ask for permits when organizing pillow fights. It claims it has never heard of the police being called to intervene in a pillow fight.
One popular idea at the event seemed to be tearing open feather pillows and spraying their contents on the ground and surrounding people. However, as the day wore on, the question of what was going to happen to the mess left behind by this.
Louise Capone handed out plastic bags to anyone in the crowd willing to help clean up. "The effectiveness is that it will probably take two days of a full time maintenance crew to come in and rake,clean, and blow and get all the stuff together in bags. I mean, we had about 5,000 people here today. And it's just, you know, it's hard on the budget to do this, but it is nice to know that a lot of these people brought down bags to help clean up, and we've collected about 30 bags of feathers, so that's very good." said Capone.
However, despite Capone's best efforts, most pillow fighters did not help clean, and by the end of the fight, Pershing Square was covered in a thick layer of feathers and other pillow debris. Romero, the luchadore wrestler, said "I helped make a mess, but I did not help clean up." As for what he thought the park maintenance crew should do, he said "I would use a vacuum."