Costume Contest Details & Rules


Our theme at Steampunk Spectacular this year is “Emerald City.”  You are welcome to compete in this category, or enter any steampunk themed costume you wish.  Registration can be completed on-line prior to the event (ends at midnight on Friday, September 22), or in person at the event (look for directions to the Costume Contest Director’s table).

Your online entry is not confirmed until you receive a confirmation email.
If you have not received a confirmation email by noon on the day of the event, please find the Costume Contest Director as soon as you arrive. Submit only one entry per group.

Contestants aged 15 and under are welcome to compete in the child category, but must have a parent or legal guardian (minimum age 18) present with ID at Registration to sign a consent form, and must be accompanied by that person for the entirety of the Costume Contest.  All children (age 15 and under) will compete only against each other.

All adult (age 16 and up) single contestants and adult (age 16 and up) groups will compete only against each other.

steampunk style

Contest Categories

– Judges’ Choice
– Best Use of Emerald City Theme
– Adult Entry
– Child Entry
– Prop / Weapon Entry
– Audience’s Choice
– Ruby Slippers (decorate a pair of red shoes, to be put on display at the event and voted on by attendees)


  1. No costume is NO COSTUME. Steampunk Spectacular (SS) is a family-friendly environment.  All costumes must be tasteful.  The minimum coverage that will be allowed in the contest is a bikini.  This means body paint, pasties and so forth are not considered adequate body coverage.  Visible thongs are not allowed.  The judgment of what is acceptable is the sole discretion of the Costume Contest Director and SS Staff.
  2. All contestants must be able to get on and off the stage safely. If you need help getting on or off stage because of your costume or physical disabilities, you may have one handler with you. Their name must be written on the Entry Form, and be pre-approved by the Costume Contest Director before the competition.  Due to space issues, children may only have one parent or guardian accompanying them backstage.
  3. You may not run/jump onstage or offstage. One foot must remain on the ground at all times. If you hear the MC or a SS Staff member shout “STOP”, you are in imminent danger of falling off the stage. Please STOP what you are doing!  Any contestant or group that does not obey this rule will be immediately disqualified.
  4. Do not leave anything on stage. For safety reasons, things like confetti, fireworks, glitter, flash paper, rose petals, water and other small messy objects are strictly forbidden.
  5. Enter at your own risk. SS is not responsible for ANY injuries that occur during this event.
  6. Costume Credit: All costumes must be made by the contestant(s) or credited to the appropriate creator(s) on the entry form. You may not enter: purchased (either commissioned, store-bought, or bought online) or rented costumes. You may certainly “walk the stage” to delight the audience, but you are not eligible to compete. Please see the Costume Contest Director the day of the event for non-competitive reservation.
  7. Props and Weapons: Weapons (“Props”) are allowed. Props may be entered on their own, or used as part of a complete costume.  Props MUST be demonstrated to be non-functioning to the Costume Contest Director.  “Live” or functioning weapons are not allowed in the costume contest. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THIS RULE WILL RESULT IN IMMEDIATE DISQUALIFICATION AND/OR EVICTION FROM THE STAGE.
  8. Ruby Slippers: You have been commissioned by the Witch of the East to produce an exquisite pair of Ruby Slippers. She desires a couture pair with a steampunk flair.  Let your imagination go wild. This is your chance to shine and put your design skills to the test.  They do not have to be wearable.  You do not need to create shoes from scratch – you may decorate a purchased pair.  They will be put on display for the audience to view starting at noon for several hours, and the audience will vote using tokens.
    If you plan to wear them during the day, you will need to provide pictures that can be displayed at the table for voting and be prepared to show them off as you walk around. The venue has gravel and dirt roads in certain areas, high heels are not recommended.
  9. The live microphone will be the sole property and used only by the Master of Ceremonies (MC). No contestant will use the microphone. All contestants will be limited to a walk-on, while your script is being read by the MC.  You may pose (please hold for three or four seconds to allow photographers to get a good shot) and move about the stage during the time your script is read.
    Presentations should be a delightful surprise for the audience and judges. HOWEVER, do not surprise the Costume Contest Staff or MC.  Let them know IN ADVANCE about anything that may catch them off-guard.


Judging of the Costume Contest will be based on TWO important and required PARTS:
1) Workmanship (how well it is made)
2) Presentation and Creativity (on the stage)

All entries for the Costume Contest will be previewed for workmanship *before* the stage presentation starts.
Contestants will be assigned a Workmanship Judging time slot when they check-in at the Costume Contest Director’s table at the event (if registered online), or when they register for the Costume Contest AT the event (Registration ends at 3 pm).  Each entry will receive a five-minute slot to describe/show their costume’s construction details.
Any contestant(s) who do(es) not show up for the scheduled Workmanship Judging time will be eliminated from competing in the Costume Contest.  You may still “walk the stage” but you are not eligible to compete.

This is your chance to get on stage and strut your stuff “in character” for the spectators and the judges.
Your presentation ends when the MC finishes reading your script.  Please exit the stage promptly so others may compete. All contestants will be limited to a walk-on.  The Costume Contest MC will read each entry’s costume title, the contestant’s name(s), and a SHORT script provided by the contestant(s).

After the Stage Presentations are complete, judges will deliberate for 10 minutes or less. Please remain by the stage area.  After deliberations are complete, the MC will announce all winners and award all prizes.

The MC will also announce the Audience’s Choice Ruby Slippers winner at the same time.  SSNM Staff will count the tokens after the 4pm deadline.  Each entry’s total will be kept for any inquiries after the competition.

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