WonderCon Anaheim 13th Annual Masquerade
Costuming not only has a large presence among the attendees at WonderCon Anaheim, it plays a vital role in nearly all the popular arts, bringing to life characters and settings in movies, TV series, comic books, Broadway shows, video games, fine art, and even pop music. It’s an artform stretching far back into history and in cultures worldwide, and yet still awes us with new ideas, new technologies, and new designs. To celebrate this unique popular art, WonderCon Anaheim’s onstage costume show returns for a 13th year with an evening of fun, surprises, and great costumes crafted by our attendees. Why call this costume competition a Masquerade instead of some sort of fashion show? Well, “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, mood, humor, and sometimes a mock battle or two.
Not a dance or party as the name might imply, it’s a stage show, featuring theater-style lighting, enhanced sound, and a giant high-definition video screen displaying great close-up views of the many astounding and entertaining costumes our attendees create. Most of the costume presentations are accompanied by specially selected music, some with effects and elaborate choreography. Our Master and Mistress of Ceremonies introduce each presentation, and the panel of guest judges selects the winners in various categories. Last year’s audience numbered 3,000, and the line for choice seating started forming long before the doors opened.
Some of the costumes presented will be impressive re-creations from the genres of film, television, anime, comics, 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 like to see 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 award as well. Costume entries must NOT have been purchased or otherwise commercially obtained, but be of original construction or show significant modification of pre-existing materials. All genres are welcome, as are all levels of experience, from the novice to the seasoned convention costumer.
The Masquerade event will be held Saturday, April 1 at 8:30 PM in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena, where it was set in 2015. The event is free to participate in, or to attend as an audience-member; 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 two-and-a-half hours. Special seating will be available for the disabled, selected press approved in advance, and for special guests of the convention. Audience tickets are not used for this event since our large venue has plenty of seating. The line for front-section seating usually begins about 2 hours before the doors open, but if you can’t arrive early, no worries, you can still arrive at showtime and find good seats.
Our Master and Mistress of Ceremonies for the event will again be the talented and entertaining husband and wife artist and writing team of Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio of Studio Foglio, creators of the popular Girl Genius steampunk comics and novels. During the judging intermission we’ll have some fun Star Wars-themed live entertainment from a return visit of the Saber Guild performance group that you won’t want to miss.
Click here to download the official Advance Entry Form for contestants with complete information and rules!
The deadline for advance entry is March 17, 2017.
You can also e-mail the Masquerade Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy be e-mailed to you.
A limited number of contestant slots are available, so interested costumers should obtain the rules and entry form to request a contestant spot as soon as possible. A photo of the costume or costumes you are entering will also be required for confirmation of eligibility.
Deadline for advance entry is March 17, 2017. After that date, contestants can sign up at the convention Friday, IF any slots are still available. Once we fill up there will be a waiting list to fill openings from cancellations. Our volunteer staff has been running Masquerades for over 20 years, and we’ll do our best to provide you with a great time. Why just be a spectator of the arts, when you can be a part of them? The WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade stage on Saturday night is there for you to shine on, so it’s time to get started on that great costume idea!
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 special posing area (where flash photography is allowe) 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 WonderCon Anaheim attendee badges sell out fast, and you’ll need a Saturday badge to participate in, or just attend, the Masquerade, so purchase your badges as soon as you can once they go on sale. Badges for WonderCon Anaheim 2017 will go on sale soon.
Awards and Trophies
Trophies will be awarded by our panel of guest judges to outstanding entries in categories of:
- Best in Show
- Judges’ Choice
- Best Re-Creation
- Best Original Design
- Best Workmanship
- Most Humorous
- Most Beautiful
- and one other award TBA
Winners in these trophy categories will also receive complimentary 3-day badges to 2018 WonderCon Anaheim 2018 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 given to that group. There will be a special workmanship judge for close-up evaluations of contestants who request it.
In addition to the trophies given by the WonderCon Anaheim judges, some participating companies and organizations will present their own generous prizes to winners they select. They 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!