It’s been a strange year for this city. That’s why we need to recap the weirdest things that happened in Philadelphia in 2023.

Keep in mind that this list may be ongoing because weird things just keep happening. There have probably been a few times this year where something happened that made you say, “Well, that wasn’t on my 2023 Bingo Card.” At least, that’s what it was like for me.

Weird things happened all over the world in 2023. From missing submersibles to foreign spy balloons (like what…a balloon???), the world faced a weird event onslaught.

Philadelphia definitely wasn’t immune to the weirdness of this year. No, in fact, we faced a ton of strange happenings in and around our city. There was a lot of head-scratching news that came out of the city in 2023.

Now, I won’t mention things like phantom holding calls in Super Bowl 57 or anything. Hurts too bad. These are the things we were talking about most in Philadelphian society. We can’t forget that these things happened, so I decided to put them all in one place. We can immortalize these super strange events in the binary code of this site forever.

Here are the weirdest things that happened in Philadelphia in 2023:

  • I-95 Collapsing

    Section Of I-95 In Philadelphia Collapses After Tanker Fire

    When this news came out, the entire city, collectively, gasped. Our jaws dropped. What do you mean a truck caught on fire and made I-95 fall down? What do you MEAN??? Thanks to dedicated construction crews, they got the road up and functional in record-breaking time.

  • Kelly Oubre Jr. And Conspiracy Theories

    Toronto Raptors v Philadelphia 76ers

    Kelly Oubre Jr. is a new member of the 76ers starting roster this season. He came out of the gate in October with an impressive showing and proved to be a stellar new squad member. Then, in November, news broke that Oubre Jr. was struck by a car in Philadelphia, and he sustained a rib break that would render him benched for a few games. As more news broke, and details didn’t seem to add up, people began to question the validity of Oubre Jr.’s story. In December, Oubre Jr. returned to the court and has continued to show the explosiveness he began the season with.

    Side note: Two pro athletes playing for Philadelphia teams were struck by vehicles this year. A.J. Brown was on Instagram Live in May, biking for charity, when a car knocked him off his bike. He was okay and sustained a bruised ego, but dang! Let’s protect our athletes, Philly. Drive carefully!

  • Nick Castellanos' Favorite Superhero

    93rd MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard

    This was strange. Castellanos was chosen to represent the Philadelphia Phillies at the All-Star Game this year, playing for the National League team. The All-Star break features baseball’s best players and a circus of media and interviews. After all, it’s not often you have the best-of-the-best all in one place.

    When asked during an interview with KTZV NewsChannel 21 about who his favorite superhero is, he said, “Scooby Doo.” Huh?

    “First off, he’s a dog who can talk,” Castellanos said. “So, I think a dog that can talk and can help people by solving mysteries is a superhero.”

    This prompted tons of Scooby Doo costumes at Phillies games, especially during their *cough* playoff run. I know, too soon.

  • Wally The Emotional Support Alligator

    The Philly Captain on Twitter: "Emotional support alligator denied access to the Phillies game pic.twitter.com/Q7DC1qBcDm / Twitter"

    Emotional support alligator denied access to the Phillies game pic.twitter.com/Q7DC1qBcDm

    The post that started it all. Emotional Support animals are pretty common nowadays. Dogs, most commonly, work to aid their owners emotionally in public spaces. They wear special harnesses and follow their owners around diligently.

    It is very much, not common, to see an Emotional Support Alligator.

    Meet Wally. His owner attempted to get him through the gates at a Phillies game shortly before their postseason berth. He was, unfortunately, denied access. We think they should have leaned into the gator thing. Maybe he would have brought them luck.

    Luckily, the Flyers DID lean into it, and Gritty got to hold Wally for a photo-op at a game. Happy ending for Wally!

  • Hall And Oates Legal Battles

    Hall & Oates In Concert - Nashville, TN

    Welp, this was a surprise. Philadelphia’s own Rock/R&B duo are embroiled in legal battles.

    Yes, they don’t like each other anymore! What? In November 2023, Hall filed a lawsuit against Oates and his trust due to contractual and financial disputes. Hall additionally issued a restraining order against Oates in the wake of the charges. When THAT news broke, our jaws dropped.

    We have to stay updated on this because they’re our Philadelphia SONS! We hope they work it all out.

  • Dollar Dog Night

    Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies

    The fan-favorite game day took a messy turn in April. Dollar Dog Night is a special Phillies game in which hot dogs at marked stands in the stadium only cost $1. It’s a dang bargain.

    It seems, though, that their cheapness contributed to a group of young people not being worried about wasting a bit of food. Well, a lot of food. A food fight broke out in section 112 and turned Dollar Dog Night into chaos that went totally viral.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Dollar Dog Night took a year off in 2024…

  • The Escaped Prisoner

    Manhunt Continues For Escaped Inmate Danelo Cavalcante West Of Philadelphia

    Danelo Cavalcante was serving a life sentence in Chester County Prison for the brutal murder of his ex-girlfriend when he escaped by scaling two close-together walls. His escape sparked a huge manhunt that went on for two weeks in September.

    During his time out of custody, he burglarized two homes in Pennsbury and South Coventry townships, stealing a firearm, clothing, and a shaving razor. He also stole a Ford transit van from a location in Pocopson Township.

    This ordeal caused Longwood Gardens to close after he was spotted on security cams there. Many towns in Pennsylvania went on lockdown, or sprung into action to help the search, as he got spotted on Ring Camera footage or by eyewitnesses in the area.

    He was captured with the help of dogs after 14 days wearing a Philadelphia Eagles sweatshirt. The state was able to breathe a sigh of relief.

  • A Security Guard Being Ejected?

    San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles

    A scuffle between a 49ers linebacker and the Philadelphia Eagles’ chief security officer resulted in both being ejected. Yes, a dude on the sidelines, in no way involved in play, got ejected from an NFL game.

    San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw was ejected for putting his hand in the face of the Eagles’ chief security officer, Dom DiSandro.

    “Big Dom”, as he is called, is a constant presence on the Eagles’ sideline and whenever players are out in public. He pulled Greenlaw off Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith after a reception and tough tackle in the third quarter. Greenlaw immediately popped up and reached over two officials to touch DiSandro’s face with a closed fist.

    Greenlaw was ejected. DiSandro also was told to leave and walked to the locker room to a roaring ovation from Eagles fans.

  • Wawa Has Pizza

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Wawa (@wawa)

    If you look up the definition of “guerilla marketing,” Wawa’s pizza campaign will come up.

    Did you know Wawa has pizza? We all do, clearly. At least, we better, considering they plastered it on billboards and Septa buses and public benches. There were commercials, social media posts, and countless posters and stickers in stores.

    As of October, upon the Pizza’s release, they have made sure we know they have pizza. And if you didn’t know (where have you been?), now you do.

  • Wildfire Smoke

    Detroit Tigers v Philadelphia Phillies

    Wildfires in Quebec, Canada in June generated large smoke plumes to the north. All of the smoke, for about a week in the summer, then another few days LATER in the summer, funneled right into the Northeast. Some really annoying weather patterns brought the smoke directly into our area, and there really wasn’t anything we could do about it.

    The city was covered in a thick cover of smog and smelled like someone was having a campfire. It was a really unpleasant environment to be outside in. If you had any outdoorsy June plans, you may have had to hold off until it cleared.

    Masks made a bit of a comeback as well, as people tried to avoid the smog going into their airways.

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