From FitzMagic to Red Tide, 6 very Florida Halloween costumes

We’re here to help you put together costumes that portray sweaty life in the Sunshine State, with its stench of fish and cast of unforgettable characters.
Published October 23 2018
Updated October 23 2018

Count on pop culture to show up at your Halloween party. You already know you’ll pass by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper at the cheese tray, say “hey” to Serena Williams in a tutu at the cooler, pass by six MAGA hats and end up talking to someone in a Mister Rogers sweater.

But what costume among them says “Florida”? Who has accurately portrayed sweaty life in the Sunshine State, with its stench of fish and cast of unforgettable characters?

You. That’s who. We’re here to help with some oh-so-Florida costume ideas.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, but kind of mad

Ryan Fitzpatrick had an undeniable cultural moment in 2018, no matter how his brief reign as quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After an exemplary performance in a September game, followed by an even more memorable news conference, FitzMagic happened. But then Jameis Winston came back and it kind of stopped.

What you need: A full, luscious beard. A zip-up track suit jacket. Aviator glasses. Gold chains. Football. Hold an “I was robbed” sign or the want ads.

Red Tide

It was the smell we’d all rather forget. The worst Red Tide algae bloom in a decade hit Pinellas County and many more miles of Florida beaches in September, killing thousands of fish and other sea creatures and casting an odor and throat burn to anyone in its wake. We won’t forget.

What you need: A blue and green outfit. A net to wrap around your body. Fake fish attached to the clothes with Velcro. Breathing mask.

Kusama exhibit

The most Instagram-worthy art exhibit hit Tampa this fall. Yayoi Kusama’s popular Infinity Mirror room Love Is Calling is on loan from the Vinik Family Foundation at the Tampa Museum of Art. You could take a photo inside the maze of vibrant polka dot tentacles. Or, you could become it.

What you need: Consider using foam pool noodles covered in construction paper black dots sewn to a sweat suit with clear fishing line. Hold a mirror and recite poetry while you walk around all night.

Florida Man

He’s everyone’s favorite criminal archetype, always getting into trouble in the weirdest, most Floridian way.

What you need: A black eye. A money bag with a hole where the money fell out. A stuffed alligator biting you in the neck/rear. A cardboard cutout to simulate a television newscast. Some part of you on fire. Face tats. Beer cans. Samurai sword.

Hurricane kit

We’re counting down the days until hurricane season is over. After a lifetime of being on the lookout for gulf systems, we’re prepared. Put that stuff to use (but then put it back in your safe place).

What you need: Step into a large cardboard box with a hole cut out of the bottom. Fill it with candles, canned veggies, board games and wine. Carry a jug of water. Make a necklace out of D batteries. Wear rain boots. Take up a collection for Hurricane Michael relief. Find a list of ways to help at

Gasparilla beads

What to do with all those beads you collect on the Gasparilla parade route every year? Unpack them for Halloween and put on every single strand.

What you need: Beads, beads, more beads. Some trash and Solo cups to stick all over yourself. Pirate hat.

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