Depending on your view of this city’s population, a guy walking through Washington Square in a nappy green robe on a sunny Saturday afternoon in early spring may or may not be unusual. You certainly wouldn’t expect him to be a participant in a global event. But, if you assumed that he wasn’t, on this past Saturday, you would have been quite mistaken.
Saturday, April 7th was International Pillow Fight Day, with observances held in such cities as Chicago, Amsterdam, Bern, London, Montreal, Salzburg and, Barcelona. Don’t believe me? The official website lists 112 cities on nearly every continent where some sort of pillow fight was held. And this wasn’t the first time they’ve done this; they’ve done it for four years now.
Philadelphia’s entry into the festivities was organized by Ari Melman, who runs an organization rightly called Urban Playground, which conducts monthly events like this around the city. Melman said he organized the Philly Pillow Fight Day with the goal to have a “fun, free community game.” By any account, he succeeded in that on Saturday. Men, women and children of various ages showed up, dressed in team colors - red, green, blue or yellow. Some were even in costume - a cow, Supergirl and Pikachu were in attendance. There were several free for alls, pillows and plush stuffed animals swinging wildly at anyone in range. The slow motion pillow fight had victims of the plush bed linens fall to the ground when they “died”, only to come back as fast moving “pillow fighter zombies” in the next round. The events ended with a game of capture the flag, teams divided by color, with the red team ultimately prevailing.
After an hour and a half of running around in the spring sun and pelting each other with pillows, everyone was noticeably tired. Some cried out for naps. Still, when Melman concluded the event and asked “Did everyone have fun?!”, the positive response was loud and enthusiastic.
The next major Urban Playground event will be during the July 4th celebrations on Ben Franklin Parkway, when they’ll be playing a game of Where’s Waldo? tag during the concerts. You probably won’t show up to that in a green robe or a cow costume with udders, but you can be sure that you’ll have a good time.
Urban Playground - http://www.upphilly.com/