Daniel Eran Dilger
Random header image... Refresh for more!

San Francisco Valentine’s Day Pillow Fight

Img 3380

Daniel Eran Dilger

The San Francisco waterfront erupted into Valentine’s Day pillow fight this evening, with feathers flying as many pillows ended up casualties of war, spilling their plumage in snow-like piles.
Crowds filled Justin Herman Plaza across from the Ferry Building, from Market Street to the twisted Vaillancourt Fountain (which debuted in 1968’s Bullet as a blueprint).

Img 3358

Img 3359

Img 3362

Taking pictures was tricky and dangerous among swinging pillows, and even breathing was sometimes difficult among the frequent pillow explosion blizzards that left the air clouded with feathery fog and the ground shrouded in drifts of white. Anywhere else, white piles on the ground in February might be snow.

Img 3370

Img 3365

Img 3376

Img 3375

Img 3369

Img 3377

San Francisco likes a good fight. I ran into battle mostly solo, taking on teams of three or four teenagers at once at times. Decorum dictates a hand shake and a smile after trading a beating. My two handed epic battle pillow with +5 energy packed such a punch one pack of defeated kids described me as “the heaviest swing here.”

Img 3386

Img 3383

Around here, peace often breaks out during battle as dance circles form, beating swords into pillow-shares whenever there’s enough music or weed in play, which is generally the case.

A guy on a bike with a boom box found a rapid following in a parade of sing-along dancers, partially captured in this clip that looks awfuly dark in YouTube. I guess you had to be there.

  • Per

    Does this happen every year? I have seen large scale snowball fights but pillows? First time! SF seems like such a nice place. Next time I get to visit the US I’ll go there for sure.

  • Dorotea

    Sorry. Don’t get it. Was this a planned event? I know that I don’t usually travel with a pillow!

  • jomi

    SF looks like a nice place to be on Valentine’s Day…
    Maybe with a bit of luck, my first trip to the US could be some time in february, so that I can have a look at this myself. Assuming, that this happens every year… Per’s question is a good one!

    BTW, were there 50%men, 50%women, as would be apropriate for Valentine’s Day?

  • nat


    It’s a pillow fight (and an EPIC one at that). What’s there to get?

  • Dorotea

    So people run around with their pillows in San Francisco?

    This was planned? It’s the only explanation… but I certainly never heard of it before this. Maybe I don’t get out much…

    St Paul has a Winter Carnival with Ice sculptures and Minneapolis has an Aquatennial with milk boat races (at least it did). That I understand. Local customs I guess.

  • harrywolf

    Comments are superfluous.
    Is this the future of war?
    Be cool, wouldnt it?

  • nat


    So are you saying you’ve never heard of SF’s Valentine’s Day pillow fight, or that you’ve never heard of pillow fights in general?

  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran

    Wikipedia says there are similar events in lots of cities:


  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran
  • http://www.deeptrouble.com deep

    Hi Daniel –

    I’m the ” guy on a bike with a boom box” – glad you enjoyed it. It’s really more of a tricycle with a really large sound system that i use for my flash mob dance parties :-)




  • KenC

    It sounds like a UK thing. But there, they usually dance. Did they at least recycle the feathers?

    Couldn’t they do something like they do in some city in Italy, where they have a huge tomato fight? I saw on Discovery Channel that it reduces tension, so that there is less violent crime.