Our Costume Contest will feature a 1st prize of $500 cash, 2nd prize of $250 and $125 for 3rd place! See below for rules!

Lil Serpent Costume Contest

A contest for the little ones! See rules below.


Our mini Photo Studio is FREE for all attendees! A photographer will be on hand to shoot your best poses. Photos can be viewed online after the convention.

Costume Contest (Adult)

Saturday, June 17th from 6-7PM in Main Events

You must have the following with you in order to enter:
  • Bring a color reference image of your character. You may have the image on your phone or other device.
  • A participation waiver (parental consent form must be completed if entrant is under 18). These will be available to fill out onsite.
Signups will take place on Saturday from 10AM-4:30PM. Entries are first-come, first-serve and up to 50 entrants will be accepted. All costumes will be judged briefly on craftsmanship as outlined below.

Each contestant should be prepared to answer the following questions:
  • How long did it take you to create your costume (e.g. hours spent)?
  • Are there any components not created by yourself; were there modifications to existing pieces?
  • What part of the costume are you proudest of?
  • Are there any details or hidden components that might not be immediately obvious or visible onstage?
  • Costumes can be based on any source: video games, comics, cartoons, fantasy, sci-fi series, etc. Original characters will be allowed but must have reference images.
  • Costumes must be hand-crafted. Costumes purchased or rented are prohibited. “Found Item” costumes are allowed as long as clothing is heavily modified. Basically, a costume built by collecting various appropriate pieces from normal clothing stores and heavily modifying them through sewing, gluing, painting, etc.
  • Costumes that have won awards at other convention contests may enter.
  • One unique entry per person. Multiple entries worn by the same person, or an entry worn by multiple people at different times, will not be allowed.
  • All props must conform to Hydra Comic Con’s Costume, Prop/Weapons & Dress Code Policies. Limited exceptions are provided in extreme cases such as large mechas, multi-person costumes or excessively large props.
  • All costumes must be family-friendly. Costumes must fall within a PG-13 rating. Costumes derived from “adult content” will not be allowed. Costumes deemed too skimpy or inappropriate for children must comply to cover the offending area prior to contest participation. Failure to do so will result in disqualification and possible ejection from the convention. In the event of a dispute, the Head of the Cosplay Department’s decision is final.
This is a strictly WALK ON competition. No skits, monologue or any sort of dialogue is allowed. Contestants should prepare three poses for the approximately thirty seconds onstage.


There are 2 craftsmanship divisions:
NOVICE: Have made 3 or fewer costumes and/or haven’t won a major award. Only Novice skill division entries are eligible for Best Novice.
EXPERIENCED: Have made 3+ costumes, and/or won a major award, and/or demonstrated advanced techniques. Only Experienced skill division entries are eligible for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

Please note that your division may be changed at the Head of the Cosplay Department’s discretion if your craftsmanship skill is more comparable to a different division.

Craftsmanship judging will take place on Saturday from 10AM-4:30PM at the Cosplay station. Judging will take place immediately after signing up and is first come, first served. Please see above for the questions you should be prepared to answer.

Entries will be categorized as individuals or groups. Group entries will be judged as an entire group, with their score averaged over the entire group.

CHARACTER REFERENCE IMAGES ARE MANDATORY! Please bring an image of your character to the craftsmanship judging.

Judging will be done using a point scale on four factors:
  • Hair and makeup 10% – Styled wigs, face and/or body makeup.
  • Accuracy to Reference 25% – How well the costume matches the design replicated, including color and scale.
  • Difficulty 15%– Functional buttons, hidden pockets, or lining adds to the degree of difficulty. Props, armor, wings and other accessories also adds to your difficulty score.
  • Ensemble 50%– Is the costume solidly made and fit well? Does it look good?
    Awards Include:
  • First Place - $500 cash
  • Second Place - $250 cash
  • Third Place - $125 cash
  • Best Novice - $100 cash
  • Other merit-based awards will be given depending on entries received.
Contestants should be prepared to stay for the whole duration of the show. Certificates and prizes will be presented on stage.


Please see the Costume Props/Weapons Policy for more information.
  • Any weapon permitted at the convention may appear on stage, subject to the same conditions it was given when it was peace-bonded. For example, a sword that was peace-bonded by zip-tying it into its sheath may appear on stage as long as it remains in the sheath. Weapons prohibited at the convention will not be allowed on stage.
  • No functional bladed or projectile weapon will be allowed on stage, including temporarily disabled airsoft guns.
  • Weapons must not be brandished or pointed towards anyone not on stage. (e.g. the audience)
  • All weapons carried on stage must be approved by the Head of the Cosplay Department during sign-in.
  • No throwing of weapons (or anything else for that matter…) will be allowed on stage. This also includes things like glitter, fake blood, confetti, feathers, or sand. Leave the stage the way you found it. Tossing an object in a controlled manner (e.g. flipping a coin, juggling) is allowed, but must be cleared with Head of the Cosplay Department beforehand.

Lil Serpent Costume Contest (Kids)

Saturday, June 17th from 1:30-2PM in Main Events

This is a contest designed for younger attendees: babies to 13 year-olds! Sign up from 10AM-1PM at the Cosplay booth located in Exhibit Hall D. A parental consent form must be completed and will be available to fill out onsite. Up to 50 entries will be allowed.

There will not be craftsmanship judging; both homemade and purchased costumes are eligible for entry. Every participant will receive a participation ribbon. A few lucky winners will receive a Toys "R" Us gift card.

This is a strictly WALK ON competition. Parents/guardians are welcome to accompany their little ones. Contestants should prepare two poses for their time onstage.