WonderCon Anaheim 2020 Masquerade

The Annual Costuming/Cosplay Competition! UPDATED 3/6/2020

WonderCon Anaheim 2020 Masquerade Call for Contestants

WCA Masquerade 2019 Best In Show: “Wonder My: A Sailor Moon Musical” Re-creation from the stage musical “Le Mouvement Final: Sera Myu” from Japan, worn and made by the Glitter Guardians, organized by Lunar Lyn. Made with over a year of stage-accurate costume research and materials hunting, with months of patternmaking and costume construction. Photo by K. Green © 2019 SDCC


Please note all contestant slots for the WonderCon 2020 Masquerade were filled in February, and we are not accepting any new entries. There is a stand-by list to fill any cancellations that may occur, but this list gets filled as well. For questions, complete rules, or further information write to the email listed below, or see us at the Masquerade Desk at WonderCon.

The WonderCon Masquerade on-stage costume competition (or Cosplay competition for those who may favor that term) will be 8:30 PM Saturday, April 11, in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. The event is free to participate in, or to be in the audience, only an attendee badge valid for Saturday is needed. Doors will open for audience seating at 8:00 PM, and the event will run about 2 ½ hours. Audience tickets are not used for this event since our arena venue has plenty of seating. And of course, while costumes are not required at all for audience members, dressing as someone other than yourself always adds to the fun for the person next to you. Reserved seating is available for special guests and selected press, please send requests to

WonderCon Anaheim 2020 Masquerade Call for Contestants

WCA 2019 Masquerade Judges’ Choice: “This is Halloween” Original design, worn by Ken Hazlett, Joanne Dragich, Ally Grace, Haley Dunn, Ruzenka di Benedetto, Natalie Lawson, and Bryn Hazleh Lawson. Made by Perdita’s Wardrobe, AllyGrace Cosplay, Rad Geeky Rose, Sunshine Lark, and That Disney Mom. Photo by K. Green © 2019 SDCC


Our Masters of Ceremonies will again be the entertaining five-time Hugo Award-winning artists and writers Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio. Together they’ve created, published, and contributed to a variety of comics, art, and games in the science fiction, fantasy, and steampunk genres through their company and website, featuring their Girl Genius series.

During the Intermission break while the judges tally their scores there’ll be a return performance by The Saber Guild, the largest not-for-profit Lucasfilm recognized Star Wars lightsaber club in the world. This year’s show is entitled The Hunted:As the Sith training nears its completion, the Sith Master looks among them for the next apprentice. In order to find the right one, the Master creates a simple contest: A hunting challenge, which includes both prey and predator. To prove themselves worthy the Sith will face the most dangerous enemy: The Jedi!” 

Following the Saber Guild, The Corps Dance Crew returns. The Corps, an entertainment group that melds cosplay, dance, and popular music, has toured all over Southern California to bring unique performances to L.A. Comic Con, Anime Expo, San Diego Comic Con, and several past WonderCons. Their premiere of their brand-new Overwatch set incorporates iconic street hip hop styles, reimagined ‘hip hop skins’ for the characters, and new technical and theatrical elements. With The Corps “Heroes never die!” For the love of the art and the nerd in our heart, SOURUMEITO!

No flash photography is allowed of the event, although non-flash photography and video recording is welcome. There will be a flash-allowed posing area with backdrop in a nearby room where contestants will go after their stage presentations, and photographer wishing access to the Masquerade Photo Area should reserve a spot in advance by writing to the e-mail above.



WonderCon Anaheim 2020 Masquerade Call for Contestants

WCA 2019 Masquerade (left to right): Best Re-Creation: “Caterina Sforza” Re-creation from Trinity Blood anime and manga, worn and made by Nina London Cosplay; Best Original Design: “Fuse Bead Warrior” Original design, worn and made by Amy Spence; Best Young Fan:Beware The Mothman” Original design, worn and made by Sydney Hartstein (age 14). Photos by K. Green © 2019 SDCC

Trophies and Awards:

WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade trophies will be awarded by our panel of judges, assembled from costuming professionals, to the most outstanding entries in categories of Best in Show, Judges’ Choice, Best Re-Creation, Best Original Design, Best Workmanship, Most Humorous, Most Beautiful, Best Presentation, and Best Young Fan.

Winners in these trophy categories will also receive complimentary 3-day badges for WonderCon Anaheim 2021, as an added thank you from WonderCon for all your hard work, talent, and dedication!  If a group entry wins in one of our categories, up to 5 free badges will be bestowed to that group.

In addition to the nine WonderCon Anaheim trophies given in various categories, there will be generous cash and merchandise prizes provided by the following companies and organizations:

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 entry they deem to be the audience favorite (so be sure to generously applaud your favorites!).

DC Comics representatives will once again present a special, limited-edition statue/collectible to the finest costume entry portraying a DC Comic-character or group of characters from the DC universe of publications and movies.

The Motion Picture Costumers, Local 705 is pleased to once again be presenting TWO awards at WonderCon: “Best Technical Costume Construction", and “Costumer of Tomorrow.” Both awards will be bestowing a beautiful custom trophy and a prize package sure to delight any Cosplayer. Their technical awards are 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. They are here to honor cosplayers who are in turn honoring that they do.

Costumer's Guild West (CGW) will present a one-year membership to CGW, as well as a full scholarship and two night's hotel stay (valued at $500) to their weekend conference, Costume College ®, held the last weekend in July at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA, to the entry their representatives select as showing the most promise. Costume College provides educational lectures and workshops in every aspect of costuming. 

The UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation is presenting a costume award to coincide with their “Make Cancer Less Scary” public awareness campaign. As scientific research is driven by a compelling vision and often requires creativity, the entry they select as “Most Imaginative” will receive four complimentary tickets (value $600) to this non-profit organization’s annual gala fundraising Masquerade Party in October this year.

So why do we title this event the Masquerade instead of simply a contest, exhibition or fashion show? Simply put, “to masquerade” means to portray someone other than yourself, and our contestants often bring to the stage as much performance imagination as they do workmanship by portraying characters and creating inventive presentations with drama, humor, a storyline, and sometimes a mock battle.

Not a dance or party as the name might imply, each entry takes the stage for a minute or two, and our giant high-definition video screen and multiple cameras display great close-up views to all in the audience. Most of the entrants use specially selected music and lighting, and some include elaborate choreography. Most costumes will be impressive re-creations from the genres of movies, television, anime, comic books, fantasy, stage shows, video games, and history; others will be completely original designs from the imagination. Some will be solo entries; others will be groups with a shared theme. All genres are welcome, but costumes must NOT have been purchased or otherwise commercially obtained. It’s a crafting exhibition, not a shopping contest, after all, so they must be of original construction, or have very significant modification of pre-existing items.

Come enjoy an evening celebrating not just the importance of costuming to all the popular arts, but also the ingenuity, talent and creativity of our attendees! Without all of their dedicated hard work creating costumes to bring to the convention, whether worn for the Masquerade or just for strolling the exhibit hall and corridors, WonderCon would be missing a lot of beauty, awe, and fun!