Traditionally, we associate Valentine’s Day with love. But today in Arcata potential romance was interrupted by some brutal, fluffy warfare. 

Around 50 pillow-equipped local soldiers, pledging allegiance to no cause in particular, descended on the Arcata Plaza Tuesday afternoon to lovingly beat the hell from each other. Those in attendance the Outpost spoke to were drawn to the flash mob-ish cushion combat by posts on social media.

“My roommate saw it on Facebook and was like ‘Dude! We’re doing that,” one warrior told us before speculating that today’s battle was likely modeled after the giant pillow fight that takes place in San Francisco every Valentine’s Day

“On Valentine’s Day lots of people want to get some aggression out,” said Zac Shank, perhaps the most well armed combatant on the Plaza “This is a big social metaphor.”

(Scroll to the bottom of this post to get a better grasp of Zac’s pillow fightin’ prowess).

“It’s pure bliss when you hit somebody,” said gladiator Irene Nicolov who also told us that she miraculously escaped the battle uninjured. There was a close call, though. 

“I almost ran into a pole,” she said. Come on, Irene. 

While some tears were shed by some of the younger troops, the only part of them apparently hurt was their feelings. And now, for historical purposes and because not all “massacres” mentioned in the media in recent days can be proven to have actually occurred, we present visual evidence of the 2017 Arcata St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

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The series of photos below chronicle the last images your intrepid photographer took before annihilation. 

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Additional photo courtesy RHBB’s Stormy Taylor