Four Days of Tabletop Hobby Gaming

Thanks for your interest in the annual Midwest GameFest Cosplay Contest! Needless to say, cosplayers and gamers have a lot in common, and we seek to strengthen those bonds with our annual contest.


Photo courtesy Lothlorien Woods Cosplay

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Submission deadlines are Saturday, April 20, 2024, 4pm for Children and 5pm for Adults.

We have a limited number of spots. Registration for the cosplay contest will continue until spots are full or on Saturday at 5pm, whichever comes first.



Note: The cosplay pre-judging and contest will be held in the Stoney Creek Lobby. Look for a map in your convention program or ask a volunteer for directions if needed. Someone will be available at the registration desk to assist you.


Midwest GameFest is offering cash prizes for in the adult and children's categories, as decided by our judges, as well as certificates for a number of other categories. Winners must be present to receive their award.

Cosplay Ribbons

Adults Cosplay Contest

We will have pre-judging and take craftmanship into consideration.

  • Advanced
    • 1st Place $50 cash, plus a weekend badge for 2025 ($50 value)
    • Judges Choice $40 cash, plus a Saturday badge for 2025 ($25 value)

  • Beginner
    • 1st Place $30 cash, plus a weekend badge for 2025 ($50 value)
    • Judges Choice $20 cash, plus a Saturday badge for 2025 ($25 value)
    • Best in Stage Performance $10 cash, plus a Saturday badge for 2025 ($25 value)

Kids Cosplay Contest

No pre-judging for children, just show up and present.

  • Advanced
    • 1st Place $30 cash, plus a weekend badge for 2025 ($50 value) for parent and child
    • Judges Choice $20 cash, plus a Saturday badge for 2025 ($25 value) for parent and child

  • Beginner
    • 1st Place $10 cash, plus a weekend badge for 2025 ($50 value) for parent and child
    • Judges Choice $5 cash, plus a Saturday badge for 2025 ($25 value) for parent and child


Raisa Alister, Elizabeth Robertsson, and Heather Anderson, will be judging our in-person cosplay contest for 2024. Each is a gifted cosplayer and we would like to thank them for their generosity and help with judging.

Raisa Alister

Raisa Alister

Trinity Garden Cosplay

Photo courtesy RSC Visuals

Raisa Alister of Trinity Garden Cosplay is a local award-winning cosplayer. She has been actively cosplaying for 12 years and is a huge advocate for diversity and inclusion in cosplay and cosplay contests. She specializes in multimedia crafting including sewing, foam smithing, 3D printing, special effects makeup, and diving into LEDs and electronics. Check out Raisa's work at Trinity Garden Cosplay.

Elizabeth Robertson

Elizabeth Robertson

Jedi Lizzy's Geek Boutique

Photo courtesy Jedi Lizzy

Ellizabeth Robertson (aka Jedi Lizzy) loves cosplaying on a budget with her husband and kids. She's been helping as a volunteer at Recruits for over a decade and loves to introduce new people to the cosplay hobby. As Jedi Lizzy she crafts handmade items, customs, and geekery!

Heather Anderson

Heather Anderson

Lothlorien Woods Cosplay

Photo courtesy Pense Productions

Heather Anderson of Lothlorien Woods Cosplay is originally from Indianapolis but has lived in the KC area for the past few years. She first started cosplaying in 2008 at her first Gencon. She prides herself in creating fun cosplays on a tight budget, usually creating at least one new cosplay a year.

Contest Rules

There are really very few rules this year... except to have fun! This year's contest is casual and while we encourage people to create their cosplays and display their craftsmanship, we want every type of cosplayer to feel like they have something to offer even if they are not cosplay crafters. Whether you make everything from scratch, piece stuff together from the thrift store, or purchase your costume from the local costume shop, you are all encouraged to enter our cosplay contest. Everyone will have a fair chance to win something. 

Contest Schedule

  • Contestants will need to sign up or check in in advance.
    • Children's Contest: by 4pm Saturday afternoon, April 20, 2024.
    • Adult's Contest: by 5pm Saturday afternoon, April 20, 2024.
  • The contest will happen between 4pm and 7pm. You will need to get there beforehand for practice.
  • Awards will happen after the cosplay contest.
  • Times
    • 4:00pm Children's Contest in hotel lobby
    • 5:00pm Adult pre-judging in hotel lobby
    • 5:30pm-6:30pm Adult Contest in hotel lobby
    • 6:30pm parade to Elements Ballroom
    • 7:00pm announce winners and award certs

All cosplay contestants must follow our standard Cosplay Policy in addition to the following:

The Basics

  • The contest is open to any contestant, whether you have made your costume or purchased it.
  • Participants who have purchased or crafted less than 25% of their cosplay will be placed into the Beginners Category.
  • Participants who have made or crafted more than 25% of their cosplay (this includes thrifting and recycling) will be placed into the Advanced Category.
  • Entries can consist of one person or a group, however, an individual person may not appear in multiple entries (e.g. you cannot enter individually, and also enter along with a group even if you use a different costume). Keep in mind, groups must split the prize if the group entry wins.


  • Contestants must have a weekend or Saturday badge in their name. These can be purchased at the event or online.
  • Contestants must submit a Contest Entry Form.
  • Contestants must be 13 years or older to enter the adult category.
  • If under 16, contestants must have a legal guardian present.
  • If under 18, contestants must have parental permission to enter.
  • Cosplays can be from any genre: anime, books, comics, games, movies, etc.
  • Cosplays must pass the weapons check.


  • Cosplays can contain no more than three (3) people per group unless approved by the judges.
  • Contestants must alert the cosplay judges beforehand if they are going to say or do anything out of the ordinary on stage.
  • Cosplay costumes and presentation walks may not contain religious, political, insulting or offensive statements or representations. We use the following definition for offensive cosplays: cosplays that incite violence, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, transphobia, ageism, or bigotry. This includes race-facing (e.g. Blackface/Brownface) as well as costumes that replicate, or make light of historic or current international or national tragedies. This includes depictions of the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) in any way.
  • Cosplay costumes must also fit within a PG rating. This means no nudity or excessive gore.
  • Contestants must avoid danger to themselves or others. No throwing objects. No fire. No confetti. No fog machines. No Nerf bullets. No shooting or launching objects.

Stage Rules

  • Cosplays will have a maximum of one minute on stage and runway.
  • When on stage contestants will use a three-point system for poses.
  • Contestants may not throw anything at/to the audience.
  • Contestants may not say or yell anything offensive.
  • No participants or costume articles may leave the stage (e.g., you may not crowd surf, or throw items or projectiles into the audience, etc).
  • Acrobatics, gymnastics, intense martial arts and other potentially dangerous physical demonstrations are prohibited. While it looks cool, we’d rather not have anyone accidentally take a trip to the hospital. Some light dances, twirls, etc. are fine. If both of your feet have to leave the floor, it’s probably not a good idea. When in doubt, ask!
  • Contestants must remove anything they take on stage with them.

Fine Print

  • Participation in the Cosplay Contest grants event organizers the right to utilize images in promotional events.
  • Participants agree to allow themselves to be photographed and/or recorded by the event organizers or designee.
  • Our cosplay staff has the right to disqualify anyone for any reason.
  • We reserve the right to add and modify rules as necessary.


If you have any questions or concerns about your cosplay, email our Cosplay Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..