The San Francisco Valentine's Day Pillow Fight
When normal, boring people think of Valentine's Day, they probably think of romance, cards, presents, overpriced flower deliveries, chick flicks, and chocolate. When cool San Franciscans think of Valentine's Day, they think of pillows, chaos, epic battles, feathers flying everywhere, and insane costumes. Why? Because every February 14th, there's a pillow fight flash mob in Justin Herman Plaza- right in the middle of San Francisco's Embarcadero.
The pillow fight starts at 6:00pm and lasts until... well, until all the pillows have been torn to pieces and pillow warriors have been maimed, destroyed, or worked to the point of exhaustion.
Without a doubt, the SF Pillow fight is the best Valentine's Day activity out there. Forget pillow talk! Come to San Francisco next Valentine's Day and join the pillow WAR!
Justin Herman Plaza
The pillow fight takes place right next to the fountain.
The Important Details
So that you don't miss out on this AMAZING flash mob, here are the essential details:
- The SF pillow fight takes place annually on February 14th (most pillow fights; those in NYC, LA, Shanghai, Sydney, Rome, Paris, Prague, Dublin, etc... take place on International Pillow Fight Day, which is usually the first Saturday of April).
- The fight takes place in Justin Herman Plaza, next to the world's ugliest fountain
- The pillow fight begins promptly at 6:00pm
- Your life will not be complete if you show up without a proper pillow
- You should also consider wearing a special pillow fight costume
If you participate in the fight, be prepared to:
- Be covered in goose down: Pillows will break. Feathers will fly. It will look glorious. And it will get EVERYWHERE.
- Be pummeled like there's no tomorrow: You do understand this is a pillow fight, right?
- Be hit by some things harder than pillows: People are waving their arms all around, and occasionally being jostled. Be prepared to come into contact with some elbows and errant cameras- and the occasional non-foam-stuffed pillow (I was only hit by ONE too hard and heavy for comfort pillow, so don't worry too much about that part, but keep it in mind).
- Have the time of your life.
What to Bring
It's obvious that you should bring a pillow to the fight, but there are some other accouterments that may significantly improve your pillow fighting experience:
- Goggles: To protect your eyes from goose down- and make you look AWESOME!
- A mask or bandana: To protect your nose and mouth from goose down
- A hat or good: To protect your hair from goose down (believe me, it gets EVERYWHERE)
- Protective clothing (maybe even a helmet): You might get a bit bumped and bruised. Hey, it's a pillow fight flash mob; what do you expect?
- An awesome costume: The stranger you dress, the better. This is an event for seeing and being seen!
- A camera: Even if you're fighting, you might want to snap some photos to make the moment last longer.
- A group of friends: The more the merrier! You can form a battalion!
What about you?
Have you participated in a pillow fight before?
How to Behave
Some basic pointers for the pillow fight:
- Be polite - don't hit people in the face.
- Be careful where you walk and try not to jostle people.
- Don't hit photographers (especially if they're sticking to the outskirts... photographers who enter the fray and get in your way totally have it coming).
- If you're bringing kids, keep your pillow fighting to the outskirts of the battle.
Good Vantage Points for Onlookers
If you're not interested in participating in the fight (perhaps you have a terrible allergy to goose down... or HATE FUN), the following vantage points are great for watching the battle without getting pummeled:
- The steps around Justin Herman Plaza: They provide an elevated viewing space and enable people to line up without obstructing each other's views.
- The two balconies in the fountain: These offer a great elevated vantage point, but be warned- you'll need to come early if you want to stake out a good viewing point!
- The steps leading to the second level of the Embarcadero Mall: Another slightly more distanced elevated vantage point.
- The Hyatt Regency Hotel lobby: Enables you to view the fight from indoors, which is ideal if you've got severe allergies.
Of course, if you do just plan to watch, be prepared to be filled with remorse at not actually joining in on the fun.
If you ever find yourself in San Francisco on a Valentine's Day, don't miss this event! It may cause upwards of $15,000 in cleanup costs, but it sure is amazing.