Archikulture Digest

Pillowlando MMXII

Pillowlando MMXII

Lake Highland Park, Orlando FL

April 7, 2012 </strong>

With Orlando’s Pillowlando organizer gone off to better things, I was curious as to who would take the feathery helm of the silliest in town. I arrived half an hour early only to find a nearly empty park. Three guys tossed Frisbee upside down and four others played some weird game on a small trampoline that looked like inverted volleyball. Weird, but not what I was hoping for. Eventually a car pulled up behind me containing a guy in an orange hard hat and matching moustache. Some young women appeared, a woman played with her daughter, but Nary a pillow was to be seen. But eventually a guy in a Kung Fu Panda outfit rolled up, and things suddenly seem more pillow fight promising.

“Why cant we all get along? Because this is more FUN!”

Today is International Pillow fight day with massive combats planned from Amsterdam to Zurich, and while this might be one of the smaller battles, it’s ours. Last year about 200 people showed up downtown across from City Hall but now the event I moving north like many other Orlando Art events. Lake Highland Park is a grassy slope hidden away between Mills and Orange and one of the best places to watch Downtown fireworks without getting a ticket or hassled.

“Panda Leader One vs Catfish Man.”

About 70 people showed up on this cool, breezy day and the cloak of Pillow Fighting responsibly is now held by “Tony,” otherwise known as Panda Leader 1. He has the best costume, neck bells, and one of those Japanese Tourist locator flags. And as the 5 o’clock hour strikes he races around us, encouraging people to form alliances. The Orange crew was a rallying point for some; some fighters seemed to be dating, and other groups seemed to have a single pillow among them and took turns. Family groups were popular, Pillowlando is great way for little kids to wale on mom and dad and little sister without repercussions.

“Relaxing at the pillow fight.”

The fight begins. People fight and then spin out to watch as camera men and iPhone holders document the padded violence. Late comers straggle in, including a team of guys with Yellow Circles on their shirts and weapons. The battle ebbs and flows, Panda Leader even takes a short nap. Then a lone fighter enters, wielding the biggest catfish I’ve ever seen. He’s gunning for Panda Leader, and the crowd converges as these heroes battle until the cat fish breaks free and a little kid runs into collect a souvenir. It’s a draw, the warriors hug, and the lesser fighters go back to beating mercilessly on people they’ve never met. We are one.

“The Final Pillow Toss”

A brutal half hour passes, a pillow breaks, spilling pillow guts on the central Florida “grass”. Other pillows cower under humans, but now everyone makes up and the combatants lined up for a group photo. One last Herculean group toss and these weapons of mass napping fly into the air, and we retreat to strategize for next year’s kerfuffle. There – I finally got “Kerfuffle” into a blog post.

“This pillow wont land until MMXIII.”

Keep your eyes on> for the next Pillowlando.

Recently on Ink 19...