Katsucon 2023 Cosplay Fashion Show & Masquerade


Sign up for the Cosplay Fashion Show and Masquerade here


All participants must have a Katsucon badge (this includes Associates, Merchants or other convention badges).

Contestants will be judged according to their costume’s resemblance to the character it is based on, representation of their costume, and runway performance. 

Please note: Masks are required in the Gaylord and attending Katsucon, therefore, you still need to wear a mask with your costume. 

Signups will occur online.  Online registrants still need to check-in during designated check-in times. It will be limited to the first 30 confirmed entries. “Confirmed” means they have been contacted by the Cosplay Staff and have replied to the contact and given a reference number. If you pre-register and are unable to attend, please inform the coordinator as soon as possible.

You must check-in during Check-in Times; if you do not check-in you forfeit your entry. This is where Cosplay staff are notified of who you are, and you will be given rehearsal information. The coordinator will pass on any last-minute changes, we will take at-con signups, and we will be available for any further questions you may have. Check-in is mandatory. The times and places for check-in is to be determined.

There is a mandatory rehearsal before the show. Cosplayers will be lined up first come first serve order to minimize downtime in Main Events. Please show up at the start of rehearsal to assure an early place in the rehearsal. All cosplayers are responsible for their own punctuality. There are no exceptions. All cosplays in the fashion show must walk in rehearsal and will be reviewed by the cosplay coordinators. Failure to attend the rehearsal or arriving late can result in disqualification from the Fashion Show.

  • All participants must have a Katsucon badge (as specified above). 
  • The same costume may not be used in either the Masquerade or the Hall Cosplay contests.
  • All costumes are permitted as well as original costumes & fashion designs.
  • All clothing & costumes must abide by the rules of the convention. 
    • If a costume is deemed unacceptable for the convention according to established policies, then it will not be allowed in the Cosplay Fashion Show.
    • Please review the dress code, weapons policy, and other important rules.
  • Each contestant may enter a handmade costume or a purchased or commissioned costume.
  • No electrical power connections will be provided. If your costume requires power, it must be part of your costume design.
  • No explosives, special effects, messy substances, profanity, political, or religious statements or signage are allowed during the contest.
  • Every component of the contestant’s costume must leave with them after their walk-on or skit is completed.
  • Each contestant or group is only allowed one entry.
  • Contestants will be judged according to their costume’s resemblance to the character it is based on, representation of their costume, and runway performance.
  • The Cosplay Fashion Show Department Head has the full authority to request a change to a costume for any reason. Refusal to make the requested change will disqualify the person or group from the competition.
  • All decisions of the Cosplay Fashion Show Department Head are final.

These rules are subject to change. Any updatesto the rules will be noted on this page or posted on our social media platforms. A complete set of current rules will be posted at the Cosplay Headquarters at check-in tables at all times on Friday and Saturday.


We will be using our interpretation of the World Costuming Guild’s rules in our categorizations. Below are the descriptions to find which group you fall into:

  • Youth: Any entrant aged 13 years and younger. For safety reasons, children under the age of 8 cannot be allowed on the stage during the Cosplay for any reason, unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Novice: Any costumer(s) who has won 2 or fewer awards. *This is the category you select if you have never cosplayed before or have not won any contests. 
    • Professional costumers cannot enter the Novice Division.
    • If you have previously won an award at the Journeyman or Master level, you cannot enter the Novice Division.
    • If you have won any award at a major regional competition, you cannot enter the Novice Division.
    • If you have won more than 2 awards at prior Masquerades or other regional conventions, you cannot enter the Novice Division.
  • Journeyman: Any costumer(s) who has won 3 – 8 awards.
    • Professional costumers cannot enter the Journeyman Division.
    • If you have previously won an award at the Master level, you cannot enter the Journeyman Division.
    • If you have won a Best-in-Show major regional competition, you cannot enter the Journeyman Division.
    • If you have won any award in the Open or Master Division at any other major convention, you cannot enter the Journeyman Division.
  • Master: Any costumer(s) who has won 9 or more awards.

Entrants are always welcome to compete at a higher level should they wish. If you have won before at a higher skill level than your award total gives you credit for (i.e., you have a Novice skill level, but you have won as a Master) then we at Katsucon highly recommend that you compete at the higher skill level, as you have already proven that you can hang with the best of them. Awards will be given for the best presentation in each Skill level, and Best in Show. Judges may wish to add their own special awards for outstanding entrants.

We will be accepting costumes from all genres. Genres may include Anime, Cartoons, Video Games, Movies, Art books and Artwork, Comics and Graphic Novels. This is not limited to Asian origin or Asian influenced genres, so Ubisoft, Disney, Valve, DC, Marvel, Warner Bros., Star Wars, My Little Pony, Doctor Who, etc., will be allowed. Crossovers and mixed genres are also permissible.

Katsucon Masquerade

Masquerade Rules

The Masquerade is Saturday’s big costuming event! Come cheer on your peers or become part of the show! Participants will showcase their craftsmanship skills from any genre of costuming in a performance for all to view. Don’t miss this premiere event!  

In addition to the performance, participants are also judged on craftsmanship. Craftsmanship judging is optional, but it will affect the overall score. Please indicate if the entry will partake in craftsmanship judging on the Masquerade registration form.  

Skill Divisions 

  • Youth: Open to all participants aged 12 or younger. Any“Youth” presentation, or walk-on containing non-Youth competitors, will be moved out of Youth and into the appropriate non-Youth category. 
  • Beginner: Open to competitors who have won 2 Major Awards or less as a Beginner. If you have ever won in any division higher than Beginner in any competition, you may not enter at Novice or lower.
  • Intermediate: Open to competitors who have won 2 Major Awards or less as an Intermediate. If you have won more than 2 Major Awards as an Intermediate, you will need to enter the
  • Advanced Division. If you have ever won in any division higher than Intermediate in any competition, you may not enter at Intermediate or lower. 
  • Advanced: Open to all competitors who wish to compete at this level. *Professional Costumers must compete in this division.

Each entry’s appropriate category is determined by the highest ranked division member of their group. For example, a group containing 1 Beginner, 3 Intermediate, and 1 Advanced, will be required to participate at the Advanced level. 

For Division Placement Purposes: Awards of ranking, including but not limited to:

  • “Best in Show,”
  • “Best in Division,”
  • “Best Performance or Craftsmanship,” or “First Place,” “Second Place,” etc. in any type of cosplay competition are considered Major Cosplay Awards.
  • “Honorable Mentions,” “Judges’ Awards,” and similar forms of recognition are not considered major awards. 

Participants may be bumped into a higher division at the Judges’ discretion. A competitor may choose to compete in a division higher than the one iseligible to enter. However, if the competitor receives an award in this higher division, they must continue to compete in that division (or higher) in future competitions. 

*A Professional Costumer is defined as someone who makes over 50% of their income through costume making or commissions. 

General Rules 

  • Entrants must be registered to attend Katsucon. 
    • Allentrants who are registering online for this event must be registered for Katsucon. 
    • This includes all members of group entries. Group leaders should verify all members have pre-registered for Katsucon before registering their skit for the Masquerade. 
  • This is a family friendly event. All performances & costumes are to be kept to a PG-13 level. 
    • No explicit gestures, nudity, swearing, dancing, etc. 
    • Participants are expected to behave onstage and backstage in an appropriately mature manner. 
  • All costumes and props are subject to the Katsucon Convention Policies.
  • Anything you bring onstage with you must come off with you. 
    • No toilet paper, tissues, rice, water, etc. 
    • Fireworks, pyrotechnics, or any fire in general is not allowed. 
    • Respect the stage and leave it clean.
  • Costume Size and Mobility: For safety reasons, over-sized costumes or props that cannot navigate the stairs & backstage area due to height, width, etc., may be asked to enter the Hall Costume Contest instead. 
    • You may have a handler if visibility or mobility is limited, but all persons & props must be able to get on and off the stage via the stage stairs without interrupting the event or causing undue delay for your fellow participants.
  • Each participant may only be involved in one skit each. You cannot participate in multiple skits.
  • Each group is limited to 10 people. 
    • This includes stage ninjas, as no more than 10 people are allowed on stage at any given time. 
    • Stage Ninjas ARE NOT counted towards the time limit.
  • Failure to report for your sign-in, rehearsal, line-up times, and/or late to craftsmanship judging is grounds for CANCELLATION of your performance. Being late or not showing up throws everyone else off schedule.
  • Exhibition Entries (non-competing) are allowed, but priority for slots will be given to competing participants.
  • The Katsucon Masquerade Head has final say in all circumstances and disputes.
  • Stay in the designated area to which you are assigned. Anyone found loitering in areas that are off limits will be subject to dismissal from the event and/or the convention itself.
  • We will be accepting costumes from all genres except for personal Original Designs (References must be publicly known or commercially distributed. Fan Art references will be on a case-by-case basis). 
    • Genres may include Anime, Cartoons, Video Games, Movies, Art books and Artwork, Comics and Graphic Novels. 
    • This is not limited to Asian origin or Asian influenced genres, so Ubisoft, Disney, Valve, DC, Marvel, Warner Bros., Star Wars, My Little Pony, Doctor Who, etc. will be allowed. Crossovers and mixed genres are also allowed.
  • All entries must attend mandatory rehearsal on Saturday morning. Rehearsals will be done by appointment; not showing up to your rehearsal time slot is forfeiting your right to perform.
  • Stage acrobatics: Because the stage is portable, it cannot take heavy abuse. 
    • Acrobatics or martial arts are not allowed. 
    • We will allow slower, choreographed, dance-like movements. Be sure to indicate such presentations when you register. Safety first! You don’t want to be that person that’s remembered for being sent to the hospital in front of the entire audience for doing something stupid!
  • Microphones WILL NOT be provided. 
    • Pre-recording of dialogue & music is heavily advised, as the acoustics in the building are very rough. 
    • Live musical presentations are permitted– however they must be approved by the Masquerade Coordinator prior to the show.
  • Audio MUST be submitted in .MP3 format. This is due before the convention. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • Tell us in advance of anything “unique” you have planned in your presentation. We will do our best to accommodate your request but are limited in what we can do and allow.
    • The more we know ahead of time, the more we can work with you. 
    • Waiting until check-in to ask for special clearance to do something is way too late!
  • If the participant is underage, parents and/or legal guardians are permitted to stay with them during the performance.

Time Limits:

  • Single to Dual participants: 1 minute 30 seconds.  
  • Group of 3-5 participants: 2 minutes.  
  • Group of 6-10 participants: 2:30 minutes. 

Violating any Masquerade or Convention rules will disqualify you. A severe violation may result in immediate removal from the convention.

Katsucon Staff are not permitted to enter the competition.

PRINTED reference material is required. Even if a character is popular or well-known, reference material is needed to judge for accuracy. Lack of printed references will greatly affect scoring, as not every judge has knowledge of every detail of every character. Phones, laptops, tablets, and anything similar will NOT be accepted. It is highly suggested a thin folder with pockets or brads should be used to present your images. Progress pictures of construction work may also help but remember that judging time is very limited, and the judges do not have the time to look through pages upon pages of references and will revisit during the deliberation process. You are welcome to have the materials back after the Masquerade.

The stage dimensions are 32x99x28 ft.

All props and backgrounds for the event MUST leave with you after the event is over.  There is NO storing of props pre/post event at all in the backstage area.  


Registration opens for the Masquerade on Friday, November 18th at 12:00pm and will close Saturday, December 17th  at 11:59PM. A link for submission will appear at the top of this page and will NOT be activated until the given time. 

When the submission form is live, only one person in a group needs to fill out the form.

There is NO “at-con” registration for this event.

Masquerade Check-in 

The group leader of a pre-registered entry must check in at the Cosplay check-in area during Masquerade check-in times.  It is to confirm your entry, receive your Masquerade info passes, and go over any other details. Failure to show up during this time means your entry will be dropped.

Should you need to cancel your entry, please inform the Katsucon Masquerade Head as soon as possible. We completely understand last-minute issues, nerves, etc. 


Awards are broken down by Division, when applicable. Awards will be determined based on scores for each division and category, focusing on Craftsmanship and Presentation, and will be awarded at the Judges’ discretion. 

To be eligible for “Best in Show”, a group must have completed both Craftsmanship & Presentation judging.

The Spirit Award will be given to the contestant that best represents Cos-positivity.

If there are insufficient entries in a division or category, the judges have the right to not assign an award.

Helpful Hints

  • Short and to the point is always more memorable. Just because you have a time limit, does not mean you have to fill that entire time given. Think of the presentation as a commercial for what you are sourcing. Keeping the audience’s attention focused is central to a presentation.
  • Always run your presentation by someone who is not familiar with your source material and see if they ‘get’ it. If they are left scratching their head in confusion, then you may want to revise your idea.
  • Remember that you want the poor guy stuck in the far back row to be able to understand and see what’s going on just as much as the person who snuck into the front row, so over-exaggerate movements and don’t clump up together if you can help it! If you can’t see what’s going on from at least 20 feet away (including reading signs), then you may want to rework your choreography (and invest in better sharpies/paint).
  • Above all, make sure you have a beginning, middle, and end. Don’t just randomly break into song and then run off stage because you are not sure on how to end your skit!
  • All participants are asked to have a Butterfly sticker on the back of their badge. If the participant’s badge is inspected by any Masquerade Staff and the participant is found to have brought their sticker as asked, you will be awarded with our appreciation for having read the rules entirely. Appreciation might be in the form of another sticker, a charm, a pin, a snack, a pat on the head, or even special consideration during our sacrificial ceremony (meaning it won’t be you we sacrifice to the cosplay overlords). 

And finally-let’s have some fun!


If after reading the above, you are still uncertain about what level you belong to, or if you have any questions, please contact us at: [email protected]