The Eau Claire pillow fight to end all Eau Claire pillow fights

Story by Katie Hoffman

Keeping with tradition, “Volume One” magazine is hosting the sixth annual April Fools’ Day Pillow Fight Friday at 6 p.m. sharp.

The event brings local residents and their pillows to the corner of Madison St. and Forest St. to celebrate the great American holiday known as April Fools’ Day. Roughly 400 people take part in this “five minutes of feathery fury.”

The feathers started flying when the “Volume One” staff — notorious for their public pranks —decided it would be better to have a fun event that the community could get involved in and celebrate rather than be pranked.

Participants are encouraged to wear crazy costumes in preparation for the battle, and some even bring themed pillow cases to match their costumes. “Volume One” Editor Nick Meyer takes credit for starting the costume craziness, along with the staff.

“I guess (the) ‘Volume One’ staff sort of started it because every year we show up in white hard hats and lab coats that say “Pillow Inspector” on the back,” he said. “We wear big aviator sunglasses and carry around official clipboards and whistles.”

In the past, different groups from the community have shown up in team outfits. The Chippewa Valley Roller Girls stroll in prepared for battle in their full body gear, and a local bluegrass band once ambushed the fight wearing skin-tight neon green body suits.

These groups aren’t alone either. “Volume One” dishes out prizes for contestants’ efforts, including Best Team and Best Individual Costumes, even Best Pillow Case.

“The Best Costume and Best Pillow Case prizes evolved to be part of the event simply because people started showing up in awesome costumes and with crazy themed pillow cases,” Meyer said.

Six years later, the event has evolved into a popular celebration of all that is foolish and has even been recognized by a brochure titled “Art Works” as a testimony to the arts playing a role in the local economy and culture.

If dressing up and soft, feathery combat isn’t a priority on your bucket list, feel free to walk downtown and observe the madness from across the street in Phoenix Park. Spectators can hang out before the whistle blows and the swinging starts, while participating in pre-game activities.