Mass ‘Pillow Fight’ takes over the streets of downtown San Jose

San Jose hosted its fifth annual Pillow Fight in February with costumed participants and lots of flying feathers.

“One … two … three … pillow fiiiight!,” boomed the microphone, signaling the beginning of San Jose’s fifth annual “Pillow Fight” on Feb. 15.

Organized by the San Jose biking community as a way to bring the residents of San Jose and nearby towns together and “activate the downtown space,” the event was held in the Camera 12 Cinema Plaza in downtown San Jose.

Approximately 100 people, ranging from toddlers to the elderly, participated in the Pillow Fight, which lasted about an hour. Attendees included a mix of new participants and those who had attended in previous years. The event was advertised primarily on social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Several participants had on creative costumes, such as Angry Birds outfits. Attendee Patron Paule, who was dressed as Pikachu, said he was attending his third Pillow Fight.

Others decorated their pillows with funny slogans, such as “Keep Calm and Duck!,” or, in the case of one attendee, used a giant, stuffed teddy bear in place of a traditional pillow.

The Pillow Fight typically occurs around Valentine’s Day. More than one attendee who was interviewed stated that the event was a good way to get out any pent up feelings about being single.

In addition to the pillow fighters, a sizeable audience of approximately 50 people watched the event. Members of the Red Bull Wings Team were on hand to market and distribute Red Bulls to attendees.

Despite the organizers’ request that feather pillows not be used in order to make the clean-up afterwards easier, most participants brought exactly that. About halfway through the event, several pillows had exploded and feathers were flying everywhere.

But in the spirit of coming together as a community, most participants stuck around after the Pillow Fight ended to help crews clean up.

The members of the San Jose biking community who organized the event agreed to be interviewed on the condition of anonymity, because they said they want the entire community who attends to collectively feel responsible for the success of the event — rather than have the focus on a few people who organized it.

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