Pillows and Feathers Fly (Again) at Washington Square Park Pillow Fight Day

Pillow Fight Day Washington Square Park 2016Ah, the controversy that is Pillow Fight Day! The city Parks Department can’t figure out how to stop it. New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, a former Community Board 2 Chair, expressed his displeasure about the annual event this week at The Villager.

Pillow Fight Day has taken place at Washington Square Park since 2012, having moved from Union Square (where I think it was better suited: there is more concrete space separate from the greenery the event inevitably impacts). The Fountain, if you were wondering, is barricaded off.

This report back of Saturday’s event by New York Cliché notes the fun being had, showcasing great photos of the park in action, and makes a good pitch in favor of it.

In 2013, feathers were left almost everywhere on lawns and bushes near the Fountain Plaza. Even Alec Baldwin was tweeting angrily about it! Since then, the organizers have seemed to work harder to clean the park up with volunteers. I have mixed feelings about the event. And I think the (new) p.r. angle that it is a “charity event” is a little contrived. They are making money from it.

Newmindspace, the company that organizes Pillow Fight Day (and the Light Saber Battle), is now re-positioning itself as The Urban Playground Movement. Organizers told The Villager if their company doesn’t organize the event, it will happen anyway, and this way the park gets a clean up afterwards. They are so known for this event; maybe some people would show up, but it would get nowhere near the level of promotion.

New York Cliché reflected on the “importance of play” upon witnessing the pillows flying. And there is a shift now towards putting more play into the lives of adults – why should that end the minute we stop being children? That is worthwhile, however, the controversy around Pillow Fight Day at a public park remains.

Previously at Washington Square Park Blog:

2015: The Mystery that is Pillow Fight Day

2014: Controversy Over Pillow Fights and Light Saber Battles At Parks

Photo: New York Cliché

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