Do you love to create things? Have you made a costume you’re really proud of?

Do you want to share what you’re passionate about with the world? Then this is the contest for you!!

The Elko Pop Cosplay Contest celebrates costuming in pop culture and the amazing creations that our attendees make and bring to the convention from far and wide. Here you will find all the information about how our contest is run, the rules involved, and the information you need to submit to reserve a place in the show!

Show Details: The contest takes place on Saturday evening, August 10th, on the Elko Convention Center Main Stage. Submission forms will need to be filled out online, with photos of the completed (or near completed) cosplay, photos of the character or reference the costume is based on, and a description of the build process.

There are 3 costume categories:

Armor & Foamwork – The costume is constructed primarily by molding and shaping its outer layers using acrylic, EVA foam, Worbla, Wonderflex, cardboard, resin, plastics, etc.

Sewing & Textiles – The costume is primarily focused on fabrics and textiles, sewing, stitching, beading, embroidery, knitting, etc.

Youth (ages 11 – 16) – all types of costumes*

*The creators of the costume must be between ages 11 – 16 to participate in this category (they have to have made at least 50% themselves) Please note, an adult must accompany minors at all times

You will be able to sign up when applications go live on July 1st. Please note: Admittance into the Elko Pop Con Cosplay Contest is on a first come, first served basis! When the show is full, it is full. Once a costume is completed, submitted, and approved, that contestant will receive a confirmation email that they are in the show – so watch your emails for updates!

Everyone who has gotten into the costume contest will appear in front of our fantastic guest judges (industry makers and professionals) on Saturday morning, August 10th, to talk about how they made their costumes and answer any questions the judges might have. Then they will go enjoy their day at the convention until call time in the evening.

At call time, all show contestants will meet up with the show manager, Velma, who will get them into the show order. Then they will take the stage, one by one! Each person will get up to a minute showcasing their designs on stage with a pre-prepared skit – planning ahead for this performance is key to a great time on stage!

Judging: Your costume must be at least 50% handmade by your own crafting skills. You may enter as a solo costume or as a group costume.

Craftsmanship –

This criterion is focused on how well your cosplay is made – are your seams clean and straight? Is the garment well-fitted to the person wearing it? Are there smudges of paint or random glue marks anywhere? Rough or mirror smooth? All of these things contribute to your evaluation


If the cosplay is original or a mashup you’ll be judged on originality. If you are recreating a character, we will look at how close you recreated the character.

On-stage Performance 

This is where you become your character! The contestant will be judged by how they display their costume on stage; do they just walk on and off? Do they exhibit confidence? Do they act like their character?

Level of Difficulty 

This is based on the difficulty of techniques used to create the cosplay. Detail, effort, and time put into the cosplay are all taken into consideration.

Please note that all cosplay costumes, props, and weapons must comply with the Elko Pop Con Costume, Cosplay, & Weapon Policy, which you can find HERE


$1500.00 Best in Show!!

Armor & Foamwork

1st Place – $300 Visa gift card

2nd Place – $175 Visa gift card

3rd Place – $75 Frank-N-Freds Comics gift card

Sewing & Textiles

1st Place – $300 Visa gift card

2nd Place – $175 Visa gift card

3rd Place – $75 Frank-N-Freds Comics gift card

Youth (ages 11-16)

1st Place – $300 Visa gift card

2nd Place – $175 Visa gift card

3rd Place – $75 Frank-N-Freds Comics gift card