Swing that pillow like you mean it

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At 5 p.m., Justin Herman Plaza was empty, except for the occasional office worker hurriedly walking through on their way home.

By 5:45 p.m., the plaza was bustling with anticipation and a bit of nervousness.

When the Ferry Building clock struck 6, chaos broke out. A dizzying blur of pillows filled the plaza. Within minutes, feathers were flying, sticking to hair and clothing.

If you’ve never taken part in the annual Valentine’s Day pillow fight, you’re definitely missing out. It might seem overwhelming, but the entire event is all in good fun.

Participants know that they shouldn’t hit us camera-wielding folk, so when they accidentally do, they are sure to follow it with a sincere “sorry.” And even though people are constantly being hit, they’re always smiling.

Just be ready. Some pillows are harder than others.

SFBay photos and video by Ali Thanawalla and Scot Tucker.