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Each Grand Rapids Comic-Con show will have a cosplay contest to reward the best cosplay on the Saturday and Sunday of the event. This is one of the highlights of our or virtually any comic book convention. Make sure to join in on the fun and parade your cosplay in front of hundreds for a chance to win cash and a trophy! 



on the Main Stage




  • CHANGE FOR 2024! When signing up you will be asked to complete a google form with your information. This can be done on a smartphone day-of while you are in line for pre-judging. If you do not have access to a smartphone or cannot get online, paper copies will be available as in previous years. Those can be found here: (link individual) (link group) The information we ask for is like before, your real name, the character you are cosplaying, a phonetic spelling of that character, contact information including street address and email (only used to contact winners), and an entrance speech to be read by our MC during the contest while you walk across the stage.

  • All participants 13 and over are to enter the adult cosplay contests, under 13 may enter the Sunday kids contest. There is no sign up Sunday.

  • Only 50 individual and 10 group participants will be taken for the Saturday contest so sign up early! Sign up closes when all slots are filled or the scheduled ending time, whichever happens first.

  • Individuals and Groups who are entering any of the contests will be pre-judged at sign up, so make sure you are in full costume including make-up at that time.

  • You will receive a lanyard with a number that you will need at the cosplay contest. We will line everyone up using these numbers. 

  • Cosplay must be at least 50% handmade or repurposed materials.

  • Examples: thrifted material re-sewn into new garment; using fabric dye or paint to change the color; making props from recycled materials; ect.

  • Each group counts as one participant in the group competition. Group members all need to be centered around one specific theme (Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Dragon Ball Z, etc.). There is no age minimum or maximum for groups.

  • All participants who signed up for the contest must be ready to line up outside the Main Stage by 2:30pm.





Line up outside the Main Stage at 1:30 pm Sunday.


Only 50 individual entries will be taken for this contest so get there early!

All kids ages 3-12 are welcome to join in the fun with our annual kids cosplay contest on the main stage on Sunday towards the end of the day! Any cosplay from any genre that fits the rules of the show are welcome to enter. A great chance for the kids to show off their costumes and have some fun!

  • When signing up you will be asked for your real name, the character you are cosplaying, and the series in which the character is represented. 

  • Make sure a parent or guardian is present when signing up.

  • To be eligible for the kids contest the child’s costume must be at least 20% handmade or re-purposed.


Can I wear a costume to the Grand Rapids Comic-Con?

... Of course!

The Grand Rapids Comic-Con encourages its guests to wear a costume (known as cosplay) of their favorite superhero, movie hero or villain at every event. Cosplay adds to the atmosphere of the show as well as gives photo opportunities for the other patrons. Even more, having numerous people cosplaying will contribute to the fun and creativity to the event for everybody in attendance.

Each Grand Rapids Comic-Con show will have a cosplay contest to reward the best costumes on the Saturday of the event. We also have a theme cosplay contest on Sunday and a kids costume parade on the same day.



Cosplay Tips

Here are a few items to consider when preparing a cosplay for cosplaying at a Grand Rapids Comic-Con event:

  • The Grand Rapids Comic-Con show is a family-friendly event, so keep your cosplay PG-13 or cleaner. In other words, nothing overtly violent or sexual in orientation will be allowed. If it would be considered illegal on the street then it isn’t legal here either.

  • Naked is not a cosplay, nor is body paint to replace shirts and/or pants. Overtly sexual cosplay will not be allowed into the event. Cover up the bathing suit parts, no exposed butt cheek. Ladies: keep cleavage to a minimum, no underboob or sideboob. Guys: if you are wearing spandex wear a cup.

  • Shoes of some sort are required.

  • If your cosplay includes some sort of weapon, please make sure that the weapon is obviously fake. No steel swords, sharpened or not. Weapons should be made of plastic, foam, rubber, softer wood, or some other form of softer material. All guns must have an orange tip and are not allowed to shoot any type of projectile (darts, water, etc.); if your gun is not tipped orange you will either have to take it back to your vehicle or we will put orange tape on the end. No weapons made of steel or some other type of metal will be allowed. Weapons that were real at one point (for example, BB guns with the firing pins removed) are not allowed under any circumstance. No baseball bats of any size made of wood or aluminum, plastic ones are OK. The Grand Rapids Comic-Con does have the right to not allow certain weapon props into its events at their discretion.

  • No gas-powered props of any kind, even if they no longer function.

  • Absolutely no cosplay that is inflammatory, racist or discriminatory in any way.

  • We are not allowed any balloons because they cause havoc to the HVAC systems at the DeVos Place.

  • If you are attending the Grand Rapids Comic-Con event as a group or a family, why not cosplay as a group? Themed group cosplays are especially popular at comic, anime, and science fiction events and are more than welcome at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con.

  • Why not pick a cosplay that has more of a retro theme? How about Flash Gordon, a character from The Wizard Of Oz, a 1980′s movie maniac, or a retro superhero? Be original and let those creative juices flow!

  • Make sure to wear something that is actually comfortable! Remember that you may be wearing that cosplay for as many as eight hours, so make sure that it isn’t too hot, not too bulky, and functions well.

  • If you are wearing a cosplay it will be commonplace for people to ask you to pose for a picture. This is part of the fun, but please ask cosplayer’s permission before taking a photo.


Are You Part Of A Cosplay Club?

Are you part of a cosplay group that is a 501(c)3 organization that does some sort of charity work? If you are please contact Mark Hodges at and he will get back with you with a special deal for your club or organization to make an appearance at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con!

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