Thanks for your interest in the 2017 Masquerade! Sign-ups are open now until July 27th, however they may close early if they fill up. Sign-up now!

If you are looking to sign-up as a walk on for the cosplay contest, we will be holding those AT the con. They are not a part of the online masquerade sign-ups!


General Information

Walk On:  Craftsmanship, or exhibition, you will walk across stage and do a few poses for the audience, allow the audience to snap some photos, and then walk off. It’s a cosplay runway!

Performance (skits): Your choice of some sort of performance for the audience, whether you are acting or doing a choreographed dance. Audio must be submitted at time of judging. You will be limited to 4:00 of audio at the maximum.

Entering the Competition

Exhibition: Costumes for the Exhibition division include commissioned, store bought (such as eBay), rented, and/or borrowed costumes. You will not be receiving any awards. Nor will your costume be judged for craftsmanship. We have a limited number of TEN slots for exhibition.

Juniors: Must be 12 and Under to compete. You are allowed to have help from friends and family to help you make the costume!

Closet Cosplay: A brand new division started in 2015 where people may enter their closet cosplays! This is anything from modified clothes, partially made items, or something thrown together straight out of your closet! (As long as it is an official character, not an Original or otherwise!)

Competition Divisions

Note: The Cosplay Staff has the right to place a competitor in an appropriate division at their discretion.

In order to compete at Matsuricon, your costumes must meet the following requirements:

  • Any costumes are allowed to enter, as long as there is OFFICAL reference art of the character. No fanart costumes will be permitted. All costumes must be derived from the original source material/artist/creator.
  • No Original characters, no Genderbends (unless there is official art from the creator(s) as such), no ginjikas, etc. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to email and ask.
  • All costumes must have been at least 75% made from scratch by the costume creator (Shoes and wigs do not count towards the overall costume).
  • Commissioned costumes cannot be entered in the competition divisions. (You may enter in the Exhibition division instead).


Novice: Intended for those who are still learning the ropes of making your own cosplay. You cannot compete in this division with more than 1 Major award previously won, or 3 minor awards. (i.e. Honorable Mentions, Judges Awards, etc.)
Journeyman: Those who have a firm understanding of how to put together a costume and show developed skills and knowledge. You cannot compete in this division if you have won more than 2 Major awards or 4 minor awards.

Masters: Master of the cosplay arts; someone who knows the ropes. Must have won 3 or more major awards.

Best in Show: This award can be given to any person in any division. It is considered a major award, and means you have shown the best work out of all our entrants.
Judges Awards: Will be given by the judges who whomever they would like, based on their own criteria. This is a minor award.

Judging Process

  • Bring references!   A reference is a picture of the character that you are cosplaying. Without a reference, we cannot accurately judge your costume for craftsmanship. It would be beneficial to your score to bring as much reference as possible, preferably as a color printout, but bringing figures, tablets, manga, books, laptops, etc., will also be accepted. Phone reference images will result in a deduction of points.
  • Be prepared to talk about your costume.  Come in knowing what you want to say. Tell the judges everything about how you made your costume. Things you should talk about include fabric, construction methods, or any special methods you used to get around a problem in designing the costume. The judges will be there to help guide you in your costume judging.
  • The judges will look at your costume up close!  Judges will be inspecting the costume craftsmanship up close, if you feel at all uncomfortable at any time, please feel free to let the judges know!


  • Costumes and skits must be PG-13. If it’s appropriate for a PG-13 movie, it’s appropriate for the competition. However, if it is something you would not say in front of your grandmother, don’t put it in your skit. If you are unsure whether your skit is appropriate, please feel free to email me.
  • Skits must be no longer than 4 minutes in length. Skits that run on longer than 4 minutes (within reason) will be disqualified from any awards. For this reason, we encourage you to pre-record your skits unless it absolutely must be performed live (such as playing an instrument). You will be given 30 seconds in which to enter and set up, as well as 30 seconds to clean up and leave the stage.
  • Objects and activities not permitted on stage: No live steel and firearms, incendiary devices (such as sparklers, firecrackers or smoke bombs). No throwing of objects will be permitted. If you hit the equipment or judges with thrown objects (ie, Pokeballs) you will be disqualified.
  • Reckless Behavior resulting in falling off stage, or breaking/damaging equipment (or nearly doing so) will result in disqualification. If you break something, you buy it.
  • What goes on stage with you MUST come off stage as you leave.
  • We will have a “Best in Show” skit award, and a “Runner up” Skit award that will be decided after viewing the skits at the Masquerade Saturday night.