Costumes are judged based on complexity of design, creativity and originality.
We love a handmade original costume!
Advance registration is highly recommended. The costume contest is limited to 60 entries. Entries will be accepted on a first-come, first-entered basis. When the contest reaches capacity, a waiting list will be created. Registration may be made the night of the event, but space is not guaranteed. Entries on the waiting list will be admitted to the contest if a registered entry drops out or does not appear at check-in. You must be 16 or older to participate.
There is a $100 cash prize for the winner of each category. You may only register for one category. More than one person can register as a group themed costume and is considered one entry. The registration fee is $10. Everyone will automatically be competing for the $500 Best Overall Prize
Costumes should be of original construction, or show significant modification of pre-existing materials. This is a show of creativity and craftsmanship. It is expected that some costumes may include as minor elements some purchased items.
Best Witch or Wizard
Best Fantasy (fairies, mermaids, steampunk, barbarians, etc.)
Best Historical (Medieval, Renaissance, Revolutionary War, etc.)
Scariest (Zombies, monsters, etc.)
Other(anything that doesn’t fit any of the other four categories)
On-site entries: You may register onsite at the Witches Ball between 6pm and 7:30 pm if there are still slots available after online registration closes. The Contest starts promptly at 8:00pm.
Contestant Check-in: All contestants must check in at the Contest Registration Tent and pick up their official contestant registration number badge from 6pm to 7:30pm. Mailing reserves your space for you, but you are not officially registered until you appear at check-in. Contestants who do not appear at check-in are considered dropped. No entries will be accepted after check-in has closed.
Scheduling of Heats: Each category will have its own separate heat. The schedule for the heats will be determined after registration closes. The times will be posted at the “gate” near the Main Stage. Please visit the gate at 7:45 to determine when your contest heat begins. Please arrive at least 5 minutes before the start of your heat.
The Contest: Our “Gatekeepers” will assist you in getting on stage. Once on stage, the emcee will introduce you and your costume. You will have about 30 – 45 seconds to strut your stuff and show your costume off to its best advantage to our guest panel of judges. Our “Grim Reaper” will make sure you stick to your time limit and will escort you off the stage.
Tips for Presenting Your Costume on Stage
- Don't just be a costume, be a character, too.
- The phrase "to masquerade" means portraying someone you are not, or at least concealing your everyday identity. The audience wants to see Batman stride across the stage as Batman would, alien monsters moving with eerie menace, epic villains projecting nuances of danger and conceit. Stay in character, or at least seek to create an ambience about you.
- Make your gestures larger than life.
- In the early days of movies, stage-trained actors soon found that their large movements and expressions, meant to be seen all the way to a theater's back row, proved excessive for the intimate eye of the camera. A new style of acting for film evolved with subtle moves and expressions, but subtlety can be lost on a big stage. Think like a stage actor, not a film actor, and play to the entire room, not just the front rows.
- Don't over—or under—do it.
- Take enough time to show off your costume and have fun, but be careful not to overstay on stage or to exit too quickly. Don't be the contestant who zips across the stage before anyone can really see the costume, and don't be the entry that goes on and on and wearies the audience. Wise performers evaluate the amount of detail in their costumes and the content of their choreography and aim for a presentation that is just the right length.
(Excerpted from Tips for Presenting Your Costume on Stage by Martin Jaquish, Comic-Con Masquerade Coordinator)
Our Costume Contest MC, Candy Mayhem
Best of Show