MAIN STAGE COSTUME CONTEST PRESENTED BY SMITHSONIAN THEATERS
Costumes spanning the worlds of comics, movies, television, anime, manga, musicals, books, and games are all eligible for entry – as well as original characters inspired by these themes. Please note costumes must comply with Awesome Con’s Cosplay and Weapons Policies.
All contestants will be judged on their quality of costume and stage presence. All contestants will go on stage individually (or together if part of a group), exhibit two to three poses as our emcee reads the entrant’s costume description, and then exit. No speaking or individualization of music is allowed. ALL SATURDAY MAIN STAGE COSTUME CONTEST ENTRANTS MUST PRE-REGISTER. THERE IS NO ONSITE REGISTRATION.
The competition is split into three categories:
- Beginner (anyone who has never won a major costume contest award)
- Intermediate (anyone who has won between one and three major awards)
- Advanced (anyone who has won four or more major awards)
You are welcome to compete at a higher level should you want to do so. Professional costumers may only compete at the Advanced level. If entering as a group, your category is determined by the most experienced member of your group. (Example: You have three people in your group, and two are in the Beginner category and one is in the Intermediate category. You will compete at the Intermediate level.)
Contestants must be 11 years of age or older to compete. Contestants under 11 may enter either the Saturday or Sunday Kids Costume Parade as part of Awesome Con Jr.
Best Craftsmanship and Best Portrayal will be awarded for each of the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced categories – as well as personal Judges’ Awards and one, overall Best In Show.
Any costume is eligible to compete on stage, but only costumes created by hand are eligible for Craftsmanship awards – with Craftsmanship judging taking place prior to walking on stage. If you are invited to take part in Craftsmanship judging, you will be given a time to check in, up to four hours before the contest begins, during which time our judges will meet with you to review your costume.
All contestants must arrive at the Main Stage 1 hour before our contest begins.
You may enter both the Main Stage Costume Contest and any or all of our Backlot Contests, but you must wear a different costume for each.
All Costume Contest Competitors must be Awesome Con attendees, and badges will be checked before competing.
Here are some other things to keep in mind!
- Don’t jump off the stage. And the audience is also not allowed to run up to the stage for any reason.
- No projectiles to be thrown off stage. Don’t throw anything from the stage.
- Please keep in mind that there will be children in the audience. Please keep your costume rating to that of a PG-13-rated film.
- You must be able to walk on/off stage and maneuver freely in your costume without assistance.