Halloween is coming up, and you could be like everyone else and just choose to be a “Game of Thrones” character or a member of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off Ensemble.” Nobody would blame you. But you could always take your Philadelphia Halloween to the next level and be something that represents the city.

Plenty of costumes would work. We’ve come up with 19, and they range from the worlds of Philly politics to sports to the papal visit. If you have some other ideas, please send us them via this form or tweet us @billy_penn.

1. Awareness Cone

Dress up as the Philadelphia tradition of setting a cone next to a pothole or street sign instead of fixing it — just to make people aware that the problem exists. It looks like this in real life:


You can be an awareness cone too. Wear orange clothing and wrap white tape in two places around your chest. Bonus points for a small, plastic cone fastened atop your head. Look aware.

2. Pope Fence

[pedestal-embed id=”22133″]

RIP Pope Fences. You’ll live forever in our hearts. For this one, we’d recommend dressing up in a Pope costume, like this one which comes in at just $25. Yes, this is probably sacrilegious. Then, cut out pieces of paper in the shape of a fence and fasten them to the front of your Pope clothes. You have a Pope Fence.

3. Cut Tim Tebow

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 5.11.44 PM
Credit: Twitter

Wear a Tim Tebow jersey. Cut it up. (Don’t worry, they’re probably cheap at this point.) Cry a little, pray a lot. Curse this psychic who said our Tebow hero would make it onto the Eagles roster.

4. “The Media”

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 6.39.14 AM
Credit: ocostumes.com

You ruined the Papal visit! At least according to Mayor Nutter, who claimed the media in Philly “scared the shit” out of people from coming to Philadelphia to see the Pontiff. In this case, you’ll want a trench coat, a notepad, a weird hat and a bottle of whiskey. Now, before you enter your Halloween party or bar of choice, put on the scariest mask you can find. Scare the shit out of people.

5. Fired Ruben Amaro

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 5.06.20 PM
Credit: Twitter

Slap on a suit, a Phillies cap and frown and you’re already Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phillies GM who was not welcomed back earlier this year. Now you can go one of two directions with this: Hang cans all over your body and be “canned Ruben Amaro.” Option two: Draw flames on your face with face paint and be fired Ruben Amaro. The choice is yours!

6. Sam Bradford’s knee

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 5.13.24 PM
Credit: Twitter

This Eagles quarterback can’t seem to catch a break. While the Eagles are 1-4, the entire city is still praying that his knee stays healthy enough for him to at least make it through the season. Want to be Sam Bradford’s knee? Wear a Bradford jersey, score some crutches and slap a giant Band-Aid across your forehead.

7. Shady McCoy’s Philly Party

An ad for LeSean McCoy’s very classy party.
An ad for LeSean McCoy’s very classy party.

Find an old Shady jersey from his days in Philly and wear a sign that says “females only.” Cover yourself in selfies of women. Or you could, you know, use your imagination for whatever the attire was at the actual event. We’ll stay away from that one.

8. A Kathleen Kane twin

Kathleen Kane made sure media couldn’t get pictures of her today as they have in the past.
Kathleen Kane made sure media couldn’t get pictures of her today as they have in the past. Credit: KYW and Philly.com via Twitter

Kathleen Kane already used her twin as a decoy to fool the media at a recent hearing, you can be their triplet! Dress up in a red business dress, give yourself long, straight brown hair, and carry around a pair of handcuffs — they could one day be her new accessories.

9. Crispy fish jawn

Credit: Danya Henninger

Dress as this new South Philly fried treat that our own Danya Henninger called one of the best cheap eats in the city. Score a fish costume of some sort, but using a blowtorch, burn the edges. Get it? Crispy? Wear a sign that says you’re on sale for 99 cents.

10. The Traffic Box

Credit: Anna Orso/Billy Penn

There were so many versions of this damn thing. You remember the Traffic Box: It was the security perimeter used to keep people in and out of certain areas during the Papal visit. This is quite easy. Draw cars, streets, signs and the like on a box. Cut holes in the box for your arms and legs and wear said box. 

11. The PPA horse

Such a doable costume. Get the mask this guy sported at an Obama rally in Denver and then wear a police officer’s uniform. Whatever you do don’t take an Uber or Lyft while you’re dressed up. You’ll scare the driver.

12. The SEPTA Key

Key costumes for couples are all the rage at Wal Mart. But let’s add this twist. One person wears the typical key costume and instead of the other being the lock, the other half can be a SEPTA token, like this amazing costume spotted last year:

13. Deflated Rubber Duck

Un-inflated duck photo by Bobby Chen for Billy Penn’s Instagram
Un-inflated duck photo by Bobby Chen for Billy Penn’s Instagram

Buy this amazing rubber duck costume at Target for only $25 and be sure to inflate it only halfway. Speak with the accent and inflection of an aggrieved Dutch artist who found out the big rubber duck he claims was stolen from his design failed at The Tall Ships Festival. 

14. The Chip Kelly goat

Chip Kelly is everybody’s favorite goat right now and deservedly so. Honor his goatness this Halloween with some goat ears/horns you can easily make or buy to rest on the top of your head. From there, just add a big ol’ pair of headphones and a dark Eagles jacket.

Or you can go all out and buy a full body goat suit. You’ll look something like this:

Chip Kelly goat (1)

15. Yoga Jim Kenney

Emulate our probable next mayor’s, uh, flexibility. It’s probably best to just see and imitate:

kenney yoga
Credit: Twitter

16. Divine Lorraine Hipster

Divine Lorraine

Wear a shirt covered in graffiti, grow out a beard or handlebar mustache (or use a fake one if you can’t grow one) and then add the usual skinny jeans and thick-rimmed eyeglasses. Consider sprinkling your face with dust to get the abandoned look. Also, drink craft beer throughout the night and talk about that article on trade liberalization you just read in The Economist.

17. Sixers tank


Tanks appear to be pretty easy to make. You need cardboard for the body of the tank and perhaps some paper towel rolls for the wheels. And paint it blue and red for the Sixers.

18. The missing PA state budget

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 5.47.26 PM
Credit: Jet.com

Make an old-fashioned milk box out of white cardboard and position a hole to put your face through. Front and center on the box, paint in bold letters: “Missing: Pennsylvania State Budget.”

19. The millennial voter

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 5.35.13 PM

Take silver invisible man suit. Paint the word “millennial voter” on the chest or attach a sign. You shouldn’t need to explain further how just 12 percent of registered millennials voted in the May primary elections.

Mark Dent

Mark Dent is a reporter/curator at BillyPenn. He previously worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he covered the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Penn State football and the Penn State administration. His...