Saturday April 2nd; amid a flurry of space foam and hypoallergenic stuffing, hundreds of Torontonians descended on Nathan Phillips Square for what has become the city's annual pillow fight. The only way to truly cover an event like this is in the thick of things. So throwing caution to the wind, I boldly dove camera first into the melee.
Chaos reigned amid the combatants and with no clear sides combat changed constantly! Two warriors could be pummelling each other one moment, only to be enveloped into a larger battle and find themselves comrades in arms the next. Roving bands of mercenaries plotted ambushes, swooping in and crushing unsuspecting victims, while costumed characters took no quarter devoted only to their persona's!
Whiled wading through this thick, plushy combat, I witnessed some pretty remarkable moments; despite the event centering around high energy combat and general chaos, there was an awareness present amongst participants you don't often see at large events. Several times I witnessed someone go down during a heavy pillow barrage and almost immediately there was a call for fighting to stop. The fallen warrior was helped back to their feet, assessed, and once they were deemed fit for combat the battle began again. At one point a cell phone was recovered from the ground, and again fighting stopped so the owner could be found. This sense of community and concern for strangers was wonderful to witness at an event with no structure or anyone officially in charge of enforcing rules.
As the event ground to an end, and pillow dust settled, I emerged from the battle without having had a camera inadvertently slammed into my face.
I consider that an afternoon well spent.