Massachusetts Firefighter Dresses as Buddy the Elf and Challenges People to Friendly Pillow Fights

A Massachusetts firefighter spread some holiday cheer last week when he dressed as Buddy, the beloved character from the 2003 Christmas movie Elf — and challenged more than two dozen people to pillow fights!

Brendan Edwards, a 27-year-old firefighter paramedic in Natick, tells PEOPLE that he and his brothers have always loved making funny videos. So, when they were planning their latest stunt last week, Edwards decided to pull out the Buddy the elf costume he had tucked away in his closet.

“We thought, ‘Why don’t we bring [Buddy] out into public, we’ve never done that before. Let’s see what happens,’ ” Edwards recalls to PEOPLE. “So we made a list of possible ideas and pillow fighting really stuck out to me. I told my brother, ‘I have a good feeling about this.’ “

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So, Edwards slipped into the costume and enlisted the help of his girlfriend Hayley O’Loughlin, who dressed as Elf character Jovie. Together they went around Boston’s Faneuil Hall with four large pillows, challenging people at random.

“It went too well. The first person loved it and people around him were laughing,” Edwards tells PEOPLE. “We went like 30 feet and I did it again and the same response, everybody was just laughing and smiling. It became instead of shooting a video we were just making people laugh and getting footage at the same time.”

He shared the video on Facebook on Dec. 4, where it has been viewed 294,000 times. The video showed several people shocked as Edwards threw them a pillow, then sporting wide smiles as they engaged in the friendly battle.

“We’d just run up to them and yell ‘Pillow fight!’ and toss them a pillow. Nobody got hurt thankfully. I got pretty beat up with the pillows, though,” he says. “We tried to keep the children out of it. I did pass out candy canes, because what kid isn’t gonna run up to an elf?”

Edwards says he and his brothers have been sharing their funny videos online for about six years, and he was shocked that the most recent clip went viral.

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“I’ve always wanted that big hit; that big viral video and it took six years and the Internet liked this one,” he says. “It’s crazy.”

As for his decision to dress as Buddy the elf, played by Will Ferrell, Edwards says it was a simple choice.

“Will Ferrell is like my favorite actor ever. He’s so funny to me. His humor hits me the right way. His character, Buddy the elf, is just so iconic,” he tells PEOPLE. “Plus I already had the costume at home.”

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