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SF Valentine's Day Pillow Fight Evolves From Intimate Brawl To Full-Scale Melee

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - If obligation to both find a special someone by February 14th and buy them that unique gift that will show them how deeply you care about them - for under $100 - is enough to make you want to smash something, then we're guessing you're a fan of the annual Valentine's Day Pillow Fight/voluntary beat-down on San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza.

The event started as an intimate thrashing in 2006, when the first rule of pillow fight club was not to talk about pillow fight club. Back then, only about 1,000 people turned out for the brawl, which was scheduled to last a few minutes but went on for the better part of an hour. Here's a look at the founding fathers of feather flying:

San Francisco Pillow Fight Flash Mob by sfmallon on YouTube

The flash mob like secrecy of those early skirmishes has given way to weeks of social media anticipation of the annual event and a number of 'how to' guides for the throw-down.

Sadly, reporting from the early years suggests that the pillow fight is not an San Francisco original, and was started after news of other  events around the globe surfaced online. But there's no doubt that we vent our Valentine's rage as well as anyone on the planet. Here's a look at the 2013 scrum:

The event has become such a success that it has launched another San Francisco tradition, complaining about the cleanup costs - estimated to be about $5,000-a-year.

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