I originally wrote this article as part of a Katrina-Refugee blog when people were searching for costume ideas for that "other holiday" where people like to dress in costume (Halloween). My friends who were staying with us while they gutted their flooded moldy house, helped come up with these Katrina costume ideas. We expect there to be a lot of Katrina related costumes this year.
These are ideas of what we thought people should wear to Mardi Gras. Lots of these ideas were used, and more! For photos of what people actually wore, check out the photo album of people in Katrina Costumes taken at first Mardi Gras 2006.
Hurricane Costume Carry a small battery powered portable fan. Blow it at people. Wear a shirt with a nametag that says, "Andrew", "Katrina", "Betsy", or "Camille" with your catagory rating on it. Or wear a big white sheet wrapped around you, or cover yourself in cotton like you are a big cloud. Put a lot of mousse in your hair and wear it messy. Spin around a lot unpredictably. Everyone in your family could go as a different storm.Carry a spray bottle of water.
Other ways to dress like a hurricane: Cut out a big mask in the shape of hurricane weathermap symbol. Make it into a mask, or make it even bigger and wear it as a huge sandwich board costume. Make sure to do your hair messy. Or cut a hole in the middle and wear it around your waist. Tie strips of cloth from your arms to fan out when you spin around.
Yet another way to dress like a hurricane: Be a "hurricane" drink from Pat Obrien's. Cut out a large shape of a hurricane glass and color it to look like their famous drink. Strap it to the front of you. Wear all red so you can be the drink. Be sure to stop in and get one while you are cruising Bourbon Street.
Army Corps of Engineers Costume Wear a red golf shirt with the Army Corp logo on it and some jeans. Add a hard hat. Carry a clipboard and a measuring tape.
FEMA worker Costume Red or white golf shirt or any shirt that says FEMA. Or print FEMA in large letters on the computer and tape it to your shirt. Wrap yourself in a whole bunch of red tape.
Blue Roof Costume Cut out a section of your blue tarp about 5'x5'. Cut a hole for your head. Tie some loose shingles to the tops of your shoes. Put a bird on your shoulder. Update: The photo on right was taken Halloween night in my neighborhood.
Wall of Water Similiar to the blue roof. Use the blue tarp. Add a hat with blue water-like tissue paper on it. Write "wall of water" on the tarp so that it is readable when you hold your arms out in a wall-like fashion. Attach some various debris to your wall of water such as Spanish Moss, lumber, Lincoln Logs, or Monopoly houses. Go running and screaming at groups of people with a squirt gun. Hand them a life jacket first.
Abandoned Refridgerator Take an old box and paint it white and write "GE", "Amana", or "Whirlpool" on it, and cut a hole for your head and arms. Draw a handle or just take the handle off your real abandoned refridgerator that is out in front of your house right now. Wrap some duct tape around yourself to keep the stench from getting out. Put a paper plate of green jello on your head for a hat, or have it seeping out from the cracks. Add some fake flies.
Box of MREs Get a large cardboard box and decorate it like a real box of MRE's. Cut a hole for your head and arms. Carry a bottle of water and some Tobasco sauce.
Pile of Debris Great group costume. Take a large black garbage bag. Cut holes for your arms and legs. Stuff with paper. Have flies and moss hanging out. Stand in a group of friends all dressed the same way. Don't bathe for a week before the party.
Insurance Adjustor Possibly the scariest Katrina costume of all. Wear a white golf shirt, khaki pants, several cell phones, a brief case, and a HUGE stack of paper with your clip board. Practice saying, "No" and "That's not covered by your policy" a lot.
National Guardsman Wear camouflage from head to toe and bring your unloaded M-16. Carry some MRE's and pretend you like them.
Mold Removal Specialist Get a white haz-mat suit with a white hood, rubber gloves, and a respirator. For bonus effect breathe loudly and Talk like Darth Vader.
Contractor Plaid shirt, ripped jeans, cell phone, clipboard, draw on a 5 o'clock shadow, and hang lots of fake money out of all your pockets. When someone offers you a piece of candy, say, "I'll take one, no two, no five! Wait, ten!!"
Weatherman Wear whatever you want as long as you prepare by wearing the same clothes everyday for a week prior to costume day . Say, "It's basically a wall of water" a lot, and contradict yourself constantly. Use makeup to add big bags under your eyes. Make a map on a large piece of posterboard showing the predicted path or "cone of probability" going from Galvaston, TX to Miami.
TV On-Location Reporter Dress in a raincoat or windbreaker. Carry a huge microphone and tie a post to your back. Have a friend carry a big video camera. Wear lots of mousse in your hair and have it wild. Talk about how no one is around and how the waves are "really picking up"
Mayor Ray Nagin Get a bald cap. Wear a blue button down shirt and suit pants. Put a Saints Logo on your shirt. Draw on a small mustache and goatee. Look very worried and confused. Blame everything on everyone else.
Senator Mary Landrieu Wear a blue dress pant suit, a blonde wig, and carry a big check written out for $250 billion dollars and ask everyone you meet to sign it.
Bourbon Street Bar fly Wear ripped up jeans, a t-shirt that says "Show your tits!", have a cigarette hanging out of your mouth, and carry a shot glass. Practice saying, "We're gonna ride it out -- I made it through Betsy and I'm not leaving now either".
New Orleans Police Officer Dress in a cop outfit. Carry a large screen tv.
New Orleans 911 worker Show up next month.
New Orleans Resident Wear a white moldy shirt covered in mud. Big rubber boots covered in mud. Wear leather work gloves covered in mold and mud. Drag a shop wet/dry vac. Cough and sneeze a lot. Have a glazed look on your face, and appear slightly bloated from eating too many salty MRE's. Some folks may find this the easiest costume of all.
Moldy Sheetrock Costume Here's an example that we saw at Halloween Make a sandwich board sign and draw green, brown and black spots all over it for mold.
Saint's Fan Nothing is more embarrasing than being a Saints fan these days. Put on a Saint's shirt and wear a paper bag over your head!
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