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Shannon Bryan

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Posted: March 31, 2015

Cushiony combat: Portland Pillow Fight Day in Monument Square Saturday

Written by: Shannon Bryan

Elaine Akers and her daughter Avis, from Portland, enjoy the International Pillow Fight Day in 2013. Press Herald file photo

Elaine Akers and her daughter Avis, from Portland, enjoy the International Pillow Fight Day in 2013. Press Herald file photo


Pillows don’t make good fighters. They’re weak brawlers, hitting with the wimpy force of a marshmallow. (Marshmallows are essentially just pillows you can eat.)

A pillow struggles to intimidate, its fluffy demeanor invites an opponent to take a nap rather than take a swing. As tough as they might dream of being, the pillow will always inspire comfort, not conflict.

But these pulpous bedtime peacekeepers can occasionally be rallied for combat. The cushiony kind.
On Saturday in Monument Square, the pillows will go at it during Portland Pillow Fight Day, presented once again by Dispatch Magazine. Pillow-swinging locals are encouraged to turn up with pillows ready, and optionally dressed according to this year’s theme: Spring/Easter.

The pillow fighting won’t just be in Portland, though. It’s actually International Pillow Fight Day, so there will be pillows brawling all over the world.

The Portland pillow fight is open to pillow swingers of all ages and there’s no cost to participate (except, you know, the possible loss of a pillow that finds itself on the losing end of battle. Pillow insides might come outside). Team themes and costumes are also encouraged. Por ejemplo: “Jagged Little Pillows” or “Pillo Rida.” They’re also giving away $100 for the best costume (with that encouraged theme of spring/Easter), so get serious with the ensemble.

And while attendees can certainly go into the fight without a plan, swinging with haphazard gusto into the wind, it’s also not a bad idea to take a refresher course in strategic pillow fighting tactics like the dodge and the counter attack.

Five ways to swing a pillow

Rules of Pillow Engagement

“Smokey, this isn’t ‘Nam. This is bowling pillow fighting. There are rules.

The first rule of pillow fights: You do not talk about pillow fights. And also:
– Soft pillows only
– Swing lightly, many people will be swinging at once
– Do not swing at people without pillows or with cameras
– Remove glasses beforehand
– The event is free and appropriate for all ages, so watch out for little ones
– Wait until the signal to begin
– Please consider the environment; no feather pillows please

Portland Pillow Fight Day

3 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday (April 4), Monument Square, Portland. Free
FMI: Portland Pillow Fight Day on Facebook

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