Great San Francisco Pillow Fight Tab Is $5K

Friday, Feb 15, 2013  |  Updated 5:04 PM PDT
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Pillow Fight Gallery 2011

This was the scene in San Francisco Feb. 14, 2013

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The cleanup cost for the annual Valentine's Day pillow fight in San Francisco was about $5,000, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Public Works said.

The eighth annual "Great San Francisco Pillow Fight" that kicked off at 6 p.m. Thursday at Justin Herman Plaza left the area covered in feathers, synthetic pillow stuffing and other debris.

The event, which drew hundreds of people, involved participants whacking each other with pillows. The aftermath of the battle required the city to send DPW crews to the plaza for cleaning between 10 p.m. Thursday and 4 a.m. today.

About 10 crewmembers working in shifts swept up the feathers and used steamer machines. DPW spokeswoman Rachel Gordon estimated labor costs were between $4,000 and $5,000.

"It's messy but becoming a regular San Francisco Valentine's Day experience," Gordon said. She said the cleanup process has become easier over the years with the department more experienced in clearing out the feathers.

The city spent about the same amount to clean up last year's event, but has spent more in previous years, including in 2010 when cleaning the plaza cost about $16,000.

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