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Cosplay Contest

Naka-Kon is proud to yet again host several competitive and noncompetitive cosplay events! This is an opportunity for crafters and performers alike to showcase their cosplay talent for adoring fans. The Naka-Kon cosplay events support a wide variety of talent from various skill sets so we encourage participants to register for the showcase opportunity that best suits their cosplay and performance needs.

This year’s Cosplay Showcase opportunity categories are:

Please note that we have a limit of 55 entries for the Main Stage Contests, 50 entries for the Cos-Parade and an as-time-permits cap on the Hallway Contest entrants. Please see General Rules, and each event’s rules sections for more details.

General Rules (for all entrants)

  • All contest entrants must be registered attendees of Naka-Kon 2022.
  • All costumes must conform to the Naka-Kon dress code policy.
  • All Cosplay Contest Contestants must also wear a Naka-Kon approved mask at all times, including while on stage. Any inaccuracies to your costume due to wearing a mask will be excused. See the Naka-Kon mask and COVID-19 policy here.
  • Anyone under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18 at all times.
  • All costumes must be completed before your judging time block and/or stage walk. A cosplay repair station will be available and open to all attendees, but will be limited to cosplay contest contestants only on Saturday between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • Repair stations are stocked and equipped to fix any last minute snafus (we’ve all been there!), but please don’t try to make your costume from scratch in the Green Room (please...please).
  • Contestants are allowed to have one handler/assistant with them for costume, mobility, and accessibility needs, and/or emotional support. All handlers must be checked in with cosplay staff or they will not be allowed backstage or with you during judging. If you need more than one handler, it must be cleared with the cosplay directors ahead of time (contact cosplay@naka-kon.com).
  • Contestants and other participants may not use the stage or judging time to make political, religious, or insulting statements or other demonstrations. If your skit/performance requires mildly insulting language, please be sure to let the cosplay directors know ahead of time.
  • Contestants in any Main Stage or Hallway Contest may not enter a costume that previously won a major award from Naka-Kon or any other convention. If the award was minor, such as a best prop or best intermediate runner up, we will waive this rule. Please contact the cosplay contest directors ahead of time if you are uncertain if your cosplay qualifies. This rule is strictly enforced and violations may result in you being disqualified from this and future cosplay contests.
  • Main Stage cosplay contestants (and skit entrants opting for craftsmanship) must select a craftsmanship class. Select a class closest to your craftsmanship level, as indicated by the class descriptions below. When in doubt, ask the Cosplay Contest Directors.
  • Current members of the Naka-Kon Staff (at-convention assistant level and above) are ineligible for awards, but are welcome to enter the Cos-Parade!
  • Safety first!
    • YOU MUST WEAR SHOES AT ALL TIMES. This is not only a requirement of the hotel and convention center, but also a safety concern. We will excuse the inaccuracy in your costume, so please wear appropriate footwear that will sufficiently protect your feet!
    • No throwing objects on stage or into the audience, or to anyone watching the parade.
    • No flames or smoke effects.
    • No projectiles.
    • No jumping off the stage.
    • No running up stairs or on stage.
    • Items may only be left on stage if entrants request Stage Ninja assistance on the contest registration form.
    • All props/shrapnel left on stage must be at least 3”x3” inches in size. We need to be able to see it to pick it up. That means, sadly, no glitter cannons.
    • All props and weapons must conform to Naka-Kon’s props and weapons policy.
    • All costumes must comply with Naka-Kon’s dress code. Large costume pieces (e.g., wings, spikes, chains, etc.) must be removable to comply with the dress code.
    • Any groups or individual entrants who wish to do any sort of fight or dance choreography must rehearse on the stage prior to the show to ensure safety.
    • If you have any questions about the weapons policy or dress code policy, please contact accesscontrol@naka-kon.com.
  • Cosplay contest staff reserve the right to disqualify or remove anyone for any logical reason, including but not limited to: cheating, inappropriate behavior at the convention, and offensive cosplays.
  • Hallway cosplay costumes entered on Friday of the convention may not be worn for the Main Stage Cosplay Contest (in either craftsmanship, runway or skit).
  • Main Stage Cosplay Contest winners (whether craftsmanship, runway, or skit) may not enter the Sunday Hallway Cosplay Contest with their winning costumes.

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Important Times

Cos-Parade

  • Register at 5:30 p.m. on Friday of the convention in Ballroom C.
  • The Parade begins at 6:00 p.m. and ends roughly at 6:30 p.m. back in Ballroom C.

Mainstage Cosplay Contest

  • Registration is online only, and opens Tuesday, April 26 at 6:00 p.m. CST until Tuesday May 17 at 6:00 p.m. CST
  • Waitlist registration will also close on May 17 at 6:00 p.m. and those on the registration list will be notified of their status no later than May 24.

Check-In

  • Check-in for the Main Stage Cosplay Contests on Friday from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Ballroom C.
  • Tech Rehearsal: Tech rehearsal times will be given to you in your acceptance email.
  • Greenroom: Begins at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday of the Convention in Ballroom C. This is where all contestants will be stationed.
  • The Cosplay Contest itself begins at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday of the Convention in Ballroom A/B. Awards will be given out directly after the contest on stage.

Hallway Cosplay Contest

  • Hallway Contest Judging is from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday of the Convention and Sunday from 10:00 to 12:00 p.m.
  • Awards will be given out during closing ceremonies at 4:00 p.m. in Ballroom A/B. All contestants should head to Ballroom A/B to find out who wins.

Sign up here for the cosplay contest beginning April 26 at 6:00 p.m. No entries will be accepted before this time!

    If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the Cosplay Directors at Cosplay@Naka-kon.com.

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