Everything you need to know to survive the NYC Pillow Fight

Saturday is International Pillow Fight Day! Get ready to rumble with our guide to the NYC Pillow Fight in Washington Square Park.

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NYC Pillow Fight 2013

NYC Pillow Fight 2013 Photograph: Filip Wolak


Newmindspace’s ninth battle of the bolsters goes down on Saturday 5, one of many taking place on International Pillow Fight Day. The foamy fracas usually lasts a couple of hours and draws around 5,000 people to Washington Square Park. Here’s our guide to making the most of the ridiculous—and ridiculously fun—public romp.  

What to bring: Whatever your weapon of choice, make sure it’s new and feather-free (to save on mess). Organizer Kevin Bracken recommends body pillows, which are long enough for simultaneous hitting and shielding. You can feel good post-fight: Last year, more than 3,000 pillows were donated to local homeless shelters and arts organizations after the event.

What to wear: This year’s theme is Superheroes vs. Villains, so go wild with the masks, capes and underwear as overwear—just remember to remove your glasses. Beware, though: If you cover yourself with padding, more people will swing at you. Last year, the most popular target was someone wearing a full suit of armor.

What to do: There’s not much room to move at the center of the fray, so the edges are where the one-on-one duels take place. Bracken reminds fighters to swing lightly (remember, there’s no winner) and only at people who also have pillows, avoiding defenseless spectators and photographers. When you’ve had enough, take your cushion to the truck parked near the arch; if you’d like to volunteer for the cleanup, e-mail love@newmindspace.com.

Where to postgame: The after-party, Thunder Gumbo presents Slumberdome, features a Mad Max–inspired arena for gladiatorial pillow fighting along with DJs, slumber-party games and more. Go to ticketfly.com for details.

NYC Pillow Fight takes place at Washington Square Park (pillowfightday.com). Sat 5 at 3pm; free.


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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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