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2018 WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade

Calling all costumers … Get ready for your big event!

For a look at last year’s WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade, including all the contestants and winners, click here!

PLEASE NOTE: All contestant spots have been filled for this year.

If you missed out entering this one, there will be another WonderCon Masquerade in 2019!

WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade

Dr. Strange—Worn and made by Nina London; Winner of the Best Workmanship Award. Photo: S. Oson © 2017 SDCC


If walking around in costume inside WonderCon Anaheim and posing for large group photos at the outside fountain isn’t enough costuming for you, then reserve a contestant spot in our Saturday night major event, where you can present your impressive costume creation to an audience of 3,000 on the same Arena stage we use for major film and TV presentations, and have a fun time. We’ve reserved our big stage that evening just for you, as WonderCon Anaheim once again celebrates the art that touches near all other popular art forms with our on-stage costume show, returning for its 15th year. It’s an evening of fun, surprises, and great costumes crafted by our attendees. Why call this a Masquerade instead of an exhibition or fashion show? Simply put, “to masquerade” means to portray someone other than yourself, and our contestants bring to the stage as much imagination as they do skilled workmanship, by portraying characters and creating inventive presentations with drama, humor, a storyline, and sometimes a mock battle or two.

Not a dance or party as the name might imply, each entry is allotted their own time on stage, and we use our giant high-definition video screen and multiple cameras to display great close-up views to the audience. Most of the costume presentations are accompanied by specially prepared music, and some with elaborate choreography. Some will be impressive re-creations from the genres of comics, film, television, anime, fantasy, stage shows, video games, and history; others will be completely original designs from the imaginations of our attendees. Some will be solo entries, others will be groups with a shared theme. If you've crafted a costume you think our audience would enjoy seeing up on the stage, we encourage you to sign up and share your work, create lots of smiles, and perhaps take home a trophy or other prize. All genres are welcome, but costumes must NOT have been purchased or otherwise commercially obtained, and be of original construction or show significant modification of pre-existing materials.

The Masquerade event will be 8:30 PM Saturday, March 24, in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena.

The event is free to participate in, or to be in the audience, only a WonderCon Anaheim attendee badge valid for Saturday is needed. Doors will open for audience seating at 8:00 PM, and the event will run about 2 and 1/2 hours. Special seating will be available for the disabled, selected press approved in advance, and for special guests. Audience tickets are not used for this event since our large venue has plenty of seating.

Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio will be returning as our Master and Mistress of Ceremonies. Both popular and frequent guests at many conventions as prolific artists and writers, they’ve earned five Hugo awards among many other literature and cartooning awards, and together have created and published the inventive and popular Girl Genius series and other successful publications through their company Studio Foglio. They always guide us through the evening’s showcase of costumes in entertaining fashion.

For complete information and rules, click here.

Please note that the Masquerade is full for contestants for 2018 and no longer accepting entries


WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade

Hawkman and Hawkgirl—Worn and made by Andy Holt and Julia Jenkins. Photo: R. Manahan © 2017 SDCC


No flash photography is allowed at the event, and any photos or video taken are intended for non-profit personal use only. There will be a flash-allowed posing area with a backdrop in a nearby room where the contestants will go after their stage presentations, but spaces are limited, and photographers who wish access to the Photo Area should reserve a spot in advance by writing to the e-mail above. Credentialed press that would like front section seating in the audience should also write to the Coordinator in advance.

Remember that the convention attendee badges sell out fast, and you’ll need a Saturday badge to participate in, or just attend, the WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade, so click here to purchase your badges now!


Trophies will be awarded by our panel of guest judges to outstanding entries in the following categories:

  • Best in Show
  • Judges’ Choice
  • Best Re-Creation
  • Best Original Design
  • Best Workmanship
  • Most Humorous
  • Most Beautiful
  • Best Young Fan

Winners in these trophy categories will also receive complimentary 3-day badges for WonderCon Anaheim 2019 as an added thank you for all their hard work and talent!  If a group entry wins a category, up to 4 free badges will be bestowed to that group.

2/12/18 UPDATE!

In addition to the trophies given by the WonderCon judges, several organizations and companies will present their own generous cash, collectibles, and other prizes to winners they select. Those will be added between now and the convention so be sure to check back regularly for the latest award additions to include:

Frank & Son Collectible Show of the City of Industry, California, “The first and last stop for ALL your collectible needs”, will present a generous $500 cash prize to the costume entry they deem to be the audience favorite.

Costume Con 36 will present, to their favorite entry, two full memberships (value $200) to their May 11-14, 2018 convention in San Diego. Costume Con provides educational lectures and workshops in every aspect of costuming plus not one, but two Masquerades covering Historical and Science Fiction-/Fantasy. There will also be a chance to design and construct your own outfits with their Future Fashion Folio and Single Pattern contests. This year’s theme is "Ports of Call", so let your imagination run wild!

Costumer's Guild West, Inc. will be presenting a full scholarship and one night's hotel (valued at $300) to their weekend conference, Costume College®, held the last weekend in July at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA,  awarded to the entry their representatives select as showing the most promise. Costume College provides educational lectures and workshops in every aspect of costuming. Please get more details at:

DC Comics representatives will present a special, limited edition DC Collectibles item to the finest costume entry portraying a DC Comics character or group of characters from the DC Universe of publications and movies.

3/15/18 UPDATE!

The Motion Picture Costumers, Local 705 is pleased to announce their second year presenting an award at WonderCon, and will be bestowing a beautiful custom trophy and a generous fabric Gift Certificate. Their technical award is seeking entries whose skillful execution, creativity, and attention to detail most highlights an imaginative adaptation of the source or a custom design. Local 705 is the Labor Union supplying movie and TV studio costume departments, costume rental houses, and made-to-order costume houses with artists and craftsmen, and are part of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, AFL-CIO., a marketplace and online community offering high quality yet reasonably priced science fiction and fantasy leather accessories and other costume accoutrements, from boots to belts, banners, robes, and buckles, will be awarding a leather replica Jedi belt and matching leather pouches (valued at $400) to the entry they deem as best Re-creation from a Science Fiction source. Founded by a fan, Cosplayverse is also a vendor in our Exhibit Hall and we welcome them for their first time as a prize participant.


WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade 2018

The Corps Dance Crew

Judging Intermission Entertainment

The Saber Guild performance group will treat us to an elaborate show of storyline and choreographed light-saber battling, returning to our stage once again with a brand new Star Wars costumed show with ingredients from the latest film. Following them will be a mini-show by The Corps Dance Crew. Founded in 2013, The Corps Dance Crew is an amazing team bringing anime and comics to life through dance. Coupling cosplay, popular music, and varied dance styles, The Corps has explored favorite fandoms with a twist. They’ve performed at numerous conventions including WonderCon, Anime Expo, and San Diego Comic Con. This year they’re bringing their “DC Bombshells” set to the WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade stage.