This year, Pensacon is holding two costume contests, one for adults (ages 13 and older) and one for kids (12 and under). The information on this page is for the Adult Cosplay Contest. For the Kids Costume Contest, click here.

Sponsored by The Festival of Fears

Date: Saturday, February 24

Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Location: Roberts Center

Prejudging: Begins at 3:00 pm, The Wright Place, Lower Level, Room #1


Novice – contestant has never won an award; 65% of costume must be hand-made

Journeyman – contestant has won less than 3 Novice or Journeyman awards; 65% of costume must be hand-made

Master – contestant has won 3 awards at any costume contest; 80% of costume must be hand-made

Exhibitor – non-competing contestant, not eligible for any prizes, who would normally be eligible in Journeyman or Master classes. This includes the 2022 first-place winners in the Novice, Journeyman, and Master categories.


  1. All contestants must have a Pensacon badge or wristband in order to be eligible to compete (this includes Volunteer, Vendor, Sponsor, Media, and other specialty badges).
  2. Groups may enter the contest, but will be judged as one individual. The category will be determined by the qualifications of the highest-ranking member of the group. The highest-ranking member of the group should fill out the application below in their name, and then in the “Description” section, list the additional members of the group and what they are portraying.
  3. Costumes and contestants that have won any of the following awards at Pensacon 2023 may not enter the 2024 Cosplay Contest as a competitor, but may enter as an Exhibitor: Best in Show, First Place Journeyman, First Place Novice Awards. This does not include Judges’ Choice or Honorable Mentions, or those contestants who did not win a prize.
  4. Costumes that do not meet category requirements will not be turned away, but the total score of the entry will be affected.
  5. Costumes must be mostly hand-made. However, pieces of costumes may be found, modified, or altered from its original design or purpose.
  6. Costume creators are allowed to use a model for their costume, but the costume creator must be present during the contest. Creators must be prepared to explain the creative process behind their costume during the pre-judging phase.
  7. Each contestant is allowed to wear only one costume. For group entries, one costume per member is allowed, or members may wear a combined costume (i.e. a large costume that require several people inside to move it).
  8. Projectiles, glitter, confetti, pyrotechnics, live flame, and smoke generators of any kind are not allowed.
  9. All prop weapons must conform to the Pensacon weapons policy: all weapons must be non-working and peace bonded; bladed weapons must be cased or sheathed at all times.
  10. No skits during the contest.
  11. No nudity or partial nudity will be allowed. This is a family-friendly event, and entrants who are deemed to be too revealing by the Director of Marketing will not be allowed to compete. Please use your best judgement, or ask for guidance.
  12. All applications must be submitted by the deadline – Thursday February 16, 2024. Walk-up entrants will NOT be allowed.
  13. Judges reserve the right to move any contestant or group into a different category, should they feel the contestant or group’s skill level exceeds the category they have registered in.
  14. Any contestant who uses any form of threat, intimidation, harassment, ridicule, or disparagement of any other contestant will be immediately removed from the contest and disqualified. Please refer to the Pensacon Statement of Values for more information about behaviors not tolerated at Pensacon.
  15. While on stage for judging, contestants are allowed to go mask-free, but otherwise will need to wear a mask.
2024 Adult Cosplay Contest Registration
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Your Name
We will notify acceptance of your registration via email. Which email address shall we use?
What is the best phone number for you in case we need to call?
Which category will you be entering?
Please describe the costume you will be wearing for competition in detail, including the name of the character you are portraying, and where that character appears in pop culture. (Example: Joker, from the Batman universe.)
Have you competed in past Pensacon Cosplay Contests?
List any awards you have won at any costume contests. Winners of the 2023 Pensacon Cosplay Contest in the categories Best in Show, First Place Journeyman, First Place Novice Awards are ineligible for competing this year, but can still be entered as an Exhibitor.
Please read and check the box below to acknowledge that you agree to abide by the following:
Any form of harassment of any other cosplay contest participant will result in your immediate disqualification and removal from the Cosplay Contest. This includes but is not limited to ridiculing others or their costumes, verbally disparaging others or their costumes, intimidation or attempts to intimidate, or physical violence against anyone. The Pensacon Cosplay Contest is meant to be a fun event for all participants, regardless of their level of cosplay expertise, and Pensacon will not tolerate any attempts to make it otherwise. Please conduct yourself in a manner that abides by these rules AND the Pensacon Statement of Values.