2009 04 04 - 3261 - Washington DC - National Mall
The 2009 Pillow Fight on the National Mall of Washington, DC; the first of two such events that day (the other occurred later at Dupont Circle).
We arrived about 10 minutes early and spent that time trying to pace about the Mall a bit to blend in. We espied others milling about with overly stuffed backpacks, bags, or even resting on the mall with their heads on pillows.
10 minutes prior to the start of the battle (which began at 1400), we spotted a couple people here and there and expected a rather lackluster turnout. Five minutes before go-time, we started noticing more and more suspicious individuals, and the Mall had become quite a bit more crowded. At minute zero: the place was packed.
Two individuals started the fight, and immediately screams and chaos ensued as everyone brandished pillows and ran into the mêlée. In the middle of DC on a busy tourist weekend (Cherry Blossoms), and all of a sudden there's screaming & people running... an uninformed individual might certainly take alarm to such pandemonium.
The fight lasted about a solid 20-25 minutes... pillowfighters clustered in one central mass and photographers ringing about. Unfortunately, the cluster was a bit too tight and the photographers too plentiful: I don't think casual onlookers quite got the full effect.
While the event rules specifically stated that no feather pillows were permitted, there were several that came along to the Mall and created quite a mess. One part of me says that it was pretty neat to watch the pillows explode & feathers are all-natural, anyway; but another part of me was a bit annoyed that people would litter our National Mall as such. The people that stuck around to make an attempt at cleaning up the feathers (myself included) didn't seem to be the same ones that brought along said pillows.
One of my favorite highlights was the small blonde boy armed with his mighty blue pillow. He was there right from the get-go, wisely keeping to the fringes of the "mosh pit". Granted, the mosh pit wasn't particularly rowdy -- people who fell were helped back up, and the cameramen kneeling down were left unscathed. Nonetheless, everytime someone spotted the boy, they'd shout out that there was a little kid around... and the boy would immediately follow by whacking them in the shins. It was priceless :)
Flash mobs... fun for all ages!
(though admittedly, I'm learning that my nigh 26 year old body just can't keep up with the teenagers anymore)