Costume Contest

Rules & Regulations

Entry into the costume contest does not have an additional cost, but all entrants must have a valid ticket to the Night in Wonderland Gala.

Registration for the costume contest will open until 4:00 PM on October 13th, 2023. Registration will be held at online on this page or in person at 790 Loughborough Drive, Merced CA 95348

Judging will take place at 9:00 PM, during A Night in Wonderland Gala. All contestants are required to report to be judged at this time.

    • Contestants 5 minutes late or more will be disqualified.
    • This is exclusively a costume contest. Feel free to pose or say a tag line, but no presentations or skits, etc. will be allowed.
    • Only contestants will be allowed in the judging area, but the public is free to look on and take photos while the contest is taking place.
    • Judging will be done by an employee of Valley Crisis Center.
    • All decisions are final.

A contestant can only enter individual categories once. A contestant may enter one individual category and the group category. All contestants will be judged individually for best overall regardless of what category they originally participated in. Depending on number of contestants, participants may be allowed to participate in more than one individual category. This will be announced at the event if requirements are met.

  • Individual: Most Mad, and Best Cosplay
    • Best Handmade
      • Dependent on number of participants in the costume contest. This category will be announced at the event if requirements are met.
  • Best Group

No pyrotechnics, live flame, or smoke generators of any kind are allowed. Any costume that “makes a mess” will not be allowed. Any items that appear to be a weapon, prop or otherwise is not allowed.

    • Costumes and props must be worn or carried with no risk of injury to people or property.
    • Please keep costume appropriate for all ages and keep in mind you will be in a public space.
    • Contest Administrators have final say about what is and what is not appropriate. We reserve the right to disqualify inappropriate costumes and remove inappropriate props.

Photos will be taken during the judging of all participants. These photos will be used for record and judging purposes. By entering the costume contest, you are agreeing to allow your image to be used on social media and in future advertising efforts.

Prizes will be announced at the competition.

While no changes to these rules are foreseen, certain circumstances may require that the rules be changed. Any changes to the rules will be noted in bold red print on this page. A complete set of current rules will be posted at the costume contest check-in-table. Valley Crisis Center wants to provide maximum creativity to the costume contest participants while still keeping a family friendly environment and safety our top priority. When in doubt, our costume contest administrators will err on the side of caution, and we expect costume contest participants to do the same.


To register for the costume contest, please download this form and complete it.

There are three ways to submit:

  1. Email to
  2. Fax to (209) 725-7908
  3. Drop off at 790 Loughborough Drive, Merced, CA 95348