With the various Halloween Attractions we have to offer in Manitoba, you may be thinking about what to wear to such an occasion. Let’s be real – pumpkins are overdone, witches are boring and ghosts are so out. This year, use Manitoba as a muse for your costume. Here are 14 (fairly) easy costume ideas for an evening of trick ‘r treat, inspired by our province’s favourite characters, critters and everything in between. 🎃 🎃 🎃
Inspired by: Wildlife
The trick to perfecting the bison costume is to act poised, still, strong, and ready to strike at any time. The costume itself is relatively simple. Find or make a furry bison cap and pair it with brown pants or leggings and a fuzzy brown sweater, which is surprisingly easy to find (furry, shaggy jackets are somehow trendy right now). If you need a little more inspiration, take a trip to Riding Mountain National Park and visit the Bison Enclosure to find a new muse for your costume.
I know what you’re thinking. “Isn’t this just a Medusa costume?” No. It’s Lady Narcisse! This year, be the Queen of the Narcisse Snake Dens and reign over the Interlake. You will have tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes under your control and you will be the firsthand witness to their riveting mating ritual. You just might have to wait about 7 months to see it (Mother’s Day is the most active day of the year at the dens).
You know we couldn’t write a costume guide without including our favourite bears. If you like wearing your pajamas on a daily basis, this look is for you. Don your coziest white onesie and pair it with fluffy white uggs or slippers. To complete the look, try a polar bear hat/mitten combo and paint your face according to bear standards. You can get into character by sparring with the nearest individual and/or digging a den for your cub. Optional: Be our mascot Toba by adding a red vest.
Inspired by: Characters and famous people
This may just be the most inexpensive costume of all – given that you are likely already wearing all of these on each and every game day. Why even bother changing? Wear your Jets garb loud and proud to the office, to the bar and now, on Halloween night. Just another reason to cheer Go Jets Go!
If you enjoy being the life of the party and in general, cheering people up, then the Fred Penner costume is for you. The Canadian icon is usually seen wearing a funky vest, and more recently, a stylish hat. Complete your look with a guitar and facial hair (fake, if you can’t grow any) and you’re set for the night. Be warned: You will be expected to sing The Cat Came Back at least 1052 times.
Dressing up like one of Winnipeg’s most notorious radio hosts is simple. The most essential pieces of the outfit is a t-shirt bearing the host’s favourite organization, “The Research Institute of Reseach”, along with his iconic glasses (though rumour has it, he’s switched to round lenses as of late). Pull on a hoodie, tuck a skateboard under your arm and don’t forget to take your beaver plush along for Halloween night. Finish the look with oversized headphones bearing the Virgin 103.1 logo (we’d suggest making a sticker). Voila! You’ve just become instantly more charismatic!
Didn’t see this one coming, did you? It is a little known fact that the inspiration for James Bond was famous WWII spymaster Sir William Stephenson, who happened to be born and raised in Winnipeg. In the spirit of this Winnipeg legend, wear your best suit, bow tie and a slick watch which obviously has a hidden spy camera inside. Your Aston Martin is waiting.
Inspired by: Winnipeg icons
His official name is Can-D-Man, but to us, he’s the all-encompassing icon of the famous Nutty Club, established in Winnipeg in 1905. This character has both charmed and terrified children for years, making it the perfect candidate for a Halloween costume. As Can-D-Man is made up entirely of candy cane lengths, you will need to construct or salvage cardboard tubes for each digit of your body. Since you already inevitably have an adorable round face, the only thing left to do is to slap a red top hat on your head and stock up on candy. Prepare to be the most popular person at the party!
Spandex suits seem to be a dime a dozen these days. Head to your local Halloween shop and pick up a gold lamé suit to begin your your Golden Boy transformation. Manitoba’s most well known symbol is officially called ‘Eternal Youth’ and faces toward the North, so you’ll want to be aware of your direction throughout the night. Purchase or make your own golden torch to hold triumphantly over your head, and go door-to-door to your local farmers’ homes for a sheaf of wheat. Abs not required.
There are endless costume possibilities inspired by our Roadside Attractions alone, but we chose to feature Fintabbatey Flonatin. He did win first prize in Roadside Madness, after all. Flintabbety Flonatin was the character who inspired the town name, Flin Flon, and originates from the paperback novel, The Sunless City by J.E. Preston Muddock. You’ll feel spiffy in Flinty’s green jacket and grey fedora; and you can’t forget his round red glasses! A brown backpack and belt complete the costume. Flin Flon would be proud!
Inspired by: The wacky and weird
A few weeks ago was National Perogy Day, so naturally we had these delicious little dumplings on the mind all month long. Perogies (or Pierogi) are a long standing Manitoba favourite, heralding from Eastern European origin. First, you will need to construct a large perogy to cover your body with. We suggest some kind of felt material bought by the yard. Sew with a gather to create a pinched dough look, and attach to the front of a bodysuit or other clothing item of your choice. Now for the toppings. Perogies just wouldn’t be the same without bacon and onions. In this costume, we paired our perogy with an onion hat and bacon earrings. Sexy.
With perogies comes kolbasa. This is the perfect couples costume – especially if you will be attending a Manitoba social. Like many other costumes on this list, you will need to construct a cardboard tube and paint the outside with the kulbasa texture in mind. Slap a label on the front (something about Baba always works) and you’ve got yourself the perfect kolbasa costume. Carry around mustard for added yum factor. Delicious!
C’mon, who doesn’t remember Winnipeg’s boldest fashion trend of the late 90s? During the 1999 Pan Am games, and for many many years afterwards, you couldn’t go anywhere in the city without seeing those iconic peach, oops, I mean SALMON jackets and shirts. To achieve this Pan Am-azing look, just search through your parent’s or grandparent’s closet (trust us, that jacket’s in there somewhere), make yourself a few athletic-y pins and don those fancy beige pants — double pleated, please. Top off your look with a fabulously flirty fanny pack. Look at you, you’re now ready to help the masses! Photo from Chocolatour.
So you want to be a Slurpee, eh? Becoming Winnipeg’s most popular beverage/snack/dessert is no easy task. Again, you will need to construct some type of body tube and paint the outside to resemble the 7-11 slurpee design. Trim the top of the tube with fluffy tulle in a colour/flavour of your choice (mmm, Koolaid blue raspberry) and attach a pool noodle in the inside of the tube so that the top sticks out, resembling a straw. It’s simple, really.
Tell us, which one of these costume ideas are you seriously considering right now? Is there one that we missed?