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The WonderCon Anaheim2015 Masquerade

An Evening to Celebrate Costumes!

Whether your interest centers on movies or comic books or fantasy art or steampunk adventures or the many incarnations of Doctor Who, costumes play a vital role in what we all enjoy about the popular arts. There’s so many ways to tell a story, countless ways to paint an alien world, limitless future technology to conjecture about, infinite alternate histories we can devise, and no end to the types of characters we create to entertain us or make us think. And there are countless ways to clothe the human (or non-human) form. WonderCon Anaheim is proud to once again present a special night dedicated to giving costumes the spotlight they’re entitled to and our talented costuming attendees the recognition they deserve: our 11th annual on-stage Masquerade Costume Competition.

Not a dance or party as the name might imply, it is in the style of a show upon a stage, 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 convention attendees create. Most of the presentations are accompanied by specially selected music, some with special effects and elaborate choreography. A Master of Ceremonies introduces each presentation, and the panel of guest judges selects the winners in various categories. The event is set in the Arena, WonderCon Anaheim’s largest presentation room. In 2014, more than 3,000 people attended the Masquerade.

Some of the costumes presented will be impressive re-creations from the genres of film, anime, comic books, fantasy, and history; others will be completely original designs from the imagination. 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, and perhaps take home a trophy or other award as well. 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.

WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade

Just one of the amazing costume presentations during the 2014 WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade!

Photo by Scotty Oson © 2014 SDCC

WonderCon Anaheim’s Masquerade will be held on Saturday, April 4, beginning at 8:30 pm in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena.

The event is free to participate in or attend; only a WonderCon Anaheim badge valid for Saturday is needed. Doors will open for audience seating at 8:00 pm, and the event will run about 2.5 hours. Special seating will be available for the disabled, selected press, and for special guests of the convention. Audience tickets are not used for this event, as the Arena has plenty of seating. The line for front-section seating usually begins about 2 hours early, but if you can’t arrive early, no worries, you can arrive at show time and seating can still be found.

Or you can write the Masquerade Coordinator at to have a copy sent to you. A limited number of contestant slots are available, so interested costumers should obtain the rules and entry criteria and sign up to request a contestant spot as soon as possible. The deadline for advance entry is March 21, 2015. After that date, contestants can sign up onsite at WonderCon Anaheim (deadline is 12:30 pm Saturday), unless we fill up all the available contestant slots before then, in which case 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 give you a great time.

No flash photography is allowed in the arena, although photos and video of this event are allowed. However, any photos or video taken must be for non-profit, personal use only. There will be a flash-allowed posing area with 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 Coordinator at the e-mail above.

Special WonderCon trophies will be awarded in a variety of categories by our panel of guest judges, in these categories:

  • Best In Show
  • Judges’ Choice
  • Best Re-Creation
  • Best Original Design
  • Best Workmanship
  • Most Humorous
  • Best Presentation

In addition to the beautiful trophies given by our judges, the following companies will be presenting their own prizes to winners they select: and more companies may join this list as the convention approaches:

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.

DC Comics representatives will bestow a very special prize to the entry they deem as the best re-creation of a DC character or characters.

Lucasfilm Ltd. will present an impressive collectible Star Wars prize, specially selected from the Lucasfilm Licensing Archives, to what they select as the best costume entry from the Star Wars universe.

More companies may join this list as the convention approaches, so check this website periodically for updates on Masquerade awards, and get started now on that great costume idea!

Click here to see photos of the winners from the 10th Annual WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade in 2014!