National Pillow Fight Day fell on April 5th this year, and the feathers did fly in Boston, one of over 100 cities worldwide to participate! Crowds gathered on that cloudy day, waiting until the 3pm whistle to begin the charge. Chaos ensued upon that initiating tone, as pillow-wielding, costume-clad Bostonians rushed to meet in a skirmish that would land the already historic city in textbooks. This was our 7th annual pillow fight, and we vowed that it would not be our last.
Boston’s 2014 pillow fight was actually in Cambridge, but we can ignore that detail. We met up in the Cambridge Commons Park, our backpacks containing large fluffy pillows and strange costumes. I brought a mask from Ecuador, which Amelia ended up wearing (because I’m already hopeless when I can see), and Charlie brought his sock monkey costume, which was injured during the fight (yes, the costume was injured.) We stopped at TJ Maxx in Downtown Crossing to buy pillows after a trip to the aquarium (because we like to do everything possible in one Saturday), so by the time we got to Cambridge we were all ravenous. Luckily, Harvard Square offers lots of lunch options, and soon we were full and ready for battle.
Spontaneous events happen all the time in Boston/Cambridge. By virtue of having such a large population–with a skew towards the college-aged demographic–Boston never lacks things to do and ways to bond with strangers. If you want to be in the loop for all things happening in and around the city, I’d recommend following @BostonTweet and @BostonOnBudget on Twitter (or checking out their websites bostontweet.com and bostononbudgent.com, respectively), and updating your Facebook profile to include Boston as your city of residence (recommended events will start showing up in your “Events” section).
Back to the fight–Amelia, Charlie and I rushed into battle with our safe, non-zippered, non-feather pillows (yeah okay I guess feathers didn’t fly in Boston, but fluff did!) while Tommy and Natalie took photos and observed the chaos. Sighted were a man in a banana suit, shirtless man with a horse head, the Michelin man made out of pillows (he was my favorite and that was actually the best hug I have ever gotten), several power rangers, teams of people wearing bright colors, a guy in a sumo-wrestler costume, a giraffe, a wizard… the list goes on. We lasted about a half hour before my arms were ready to give out and our costumed friends felt like their heads were in danger. Natalie rushed in for a bit towards the end, and Tommy took some fantastic pictures (which are included below. Thanks Tommy!) It was kind of exhilarating to be chased by little kids–who do not hold back, be warned–and to laugh with strangers over intentionally whacking them in the face with a large stuffed cloth.
And then it ended. There was a final swarm as the crowd thinned, with everyone rushing towards one random spot, and then the fight dwindled. Pictures went up later all over Twitter and on the public Facebook page, and many posted on the official Reddit page. It was a really cool thing to be part of, and it was even cooler to see pictures from all over the world of this one moment in time, and hearing stories of cities both fighting for charities or just for the fact that it was National Pillow Fight Day.
Moral of the story: if you’re in Boston, never ever complain that you’re bored because something is probably going on. Also, take part in pillow fights. And wear costumes. And follow the people I listed above because they’re really cool.
All photos below by Tommy Chen.