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Contest Rules & Guidelines

1. All contestants must be registered Sinister Creature Con attendees to participate in the Cosplay Event Day of convention.

2. This is a family friendly convention! This means that all costumes must be secure with no chance of “slippage”.

3. Store/online bought costumes are eligible for the Novice award. This is your category where you are a first-time cosplayer, made part of your costume, or bought it. We want to see you shine!

4. To qualify for intermediate, 50% or more of the costume must be handmade.


5. Anyone who wishes to participate who is under the age of 14 must have a Legal parent or guardian sign them up and sign a release waiver.


6. The Youth Award goes to those contestants under the age of 10. Any contestant under age 10 must go on stage with their parent or have their parent waiting right off stage.


7. To be eligible for more "Advanced", 85% of the costume must be made. (18 & up).

8. To qualify for "Best in Show", you must be signed up for the "Advanced" category.


9. For group cosplays to be eligible everyone needs to be in a costume and be participating in the cosplay.


10. All props, costumes must be taken on and off stage by the contestants. Do not leave a mess or you will have points docked from your total score.


11. Judges reserve the right to change the category you are placed in.


12. There will be no skits or presentations, this is strictly a walk-on contest.


13. Please keep a safe distance, be respectful and consider people's wishes of space.


14. No inflatable costumes are allowed at the convention or cosplay competition.

Thank you!


Awards for Sinister Creature Con:


We are limited categories for this show only, Safety First.

· Best in Show

· Novice Costume

· Intermediate Costume

· Advanced Costume (18 & over)

· Best Youth Costume (10 & under)

· Makeup/Prosthetics

· Judges Awards (3)


Category Placement Information



This category is for all ages. The point of this category is to be judged on the basis of make-up and prosthetics, NOT your costume. You can have a store-bought costume, handmade costume, full-body prosthetics, or street clothes. The only important thing is the make-up and prosthetics. 

All contestants ages 10 or under, whether competing in Youth or Make-up, MUST have their parent either on stage with them or standing just off the stage.

Youth (10 & Under):

This category is for contestants ages 10 and under. However, depending on how the contestant is dressed up, they may be asked to compete in make-up. For more information, please consult one of the judges or the cosplay director.

All contestants ages 10 or under, whether competing in Youth or Make-up, MUST have their parent either on stage with them or standing just off the stage.

Novice (First-Timers!):

This category is for beginners ages 11 and up. This is your category if this is your first or second time competing in a cosplay competition. Your costume can be store-bought, handmade, or partially made, but you must be in costume.

Intermediate (50% or more must be handmade):

This category is for slightly more experienced competitors ages 11 and up. If you’ve competed for a couple of times and want to try your hand at being judged in a higher tier, but don’t feel you are ready for advanced, this is the category for you. If you are a more experienced contestant but are under the age of 18, this category is also for you. Your costume can be fully handmade, or partially handmade, but no more than 50% of your costume can be store-bought.


Advanced (85% or more must be handmade):

This category is for experienced cosplayers ages 18 and up that want to try for the “Best in Show” award. Your costume must be a minimum of 85% handmade. No more than 15% of your costume can be store-bought.

The reason for this age restriction is that some of the vendor-donated prizes include adult-only items and tickets to adult-only events.


* For any questions about category placement, please consult either the cosplay director or one of the judges present at the sign-up table.

Weapons Guideline

Weapons NOT permitted at Sinister Creature Con include, but are not limited to the following:

No live steel in the form of, including but not limited to:

- Knives, swords, star knives, shuriken

- Any form of metal weapon made to take an edge.

- Chains must be cleared with Masquerade director and be peace bonded accordingly.


No guns or projectile launchers of any kind will be permitted. Including but not limited to:

- Actual firearms including ammunition for said firearms. (Handguns, rifles, shot guns etc.)

- Airsoft guns (Any and all, functioning or not, even with no moving parts.)

- BB guns and Pellet guns

- Bows*, crossbows*, dart guns, and blow guns (Prop Bow and crossbows with no strings are permitted but must be cleared and peace bonded)

- Functioning water guns or pistols.

- Stun guns and Tasers

The only exception to this rule will be Prop or resin models that are easily identifiable as toys, provided they are clearly marked with a non-removable orange tip.

No “paddles” of any sort

No NUNCHUCKS of any kind

No EXPLOSIVES or CHEMICALS of any kind, including but not limited to:

-smoke powder, sparklers, or fireworks of any kind.

If it is illegal outside in the City of Sacramento and/or the state of California it is illegal inside the convention.



Weapons That Are Allowed

Staves, Bo sticks, Shinai, and wooden swords will be permitted as long as they are handled responsibly.

Fake, prop, and made-up weapons (i.e. made of foam, cardboard, cloth, etc.) are permitted if they are

safe and not dangerous.

Examples of dangerous conditions include but are not limited to:

Items that may trip others, items that can snag on people or surroundings, items that obstruct doors and halls.

Pros shall be limited to less than six feet, six inches (6’6”) in height and less then 50lbs in weight.

Any metal chains are to be less than three feet (3’) in length. Any chain longer than that will be peace bonded shorter.

When in doubt just ask one of the cosplay staff. Also, if you don’t get stopped by cosplay staff that doesn’t mean the item is allowed.

Note: Any and all weapons policies are subject to change at any moment at the discretion of Sinister Creature Con staff and Cosplay staff.


Peace-Bonding Policies


Sinister Creature Con wants to provide the best possible con experience while maintaining a safe Family friendly environment. We ask that any and all things that can be considered a weapon be taken to Cosplay staff for peace bonding. If you purchase something and want to use it as a prop, please bring it by the table and we will be happy to peace bond it if it falls under our guidelines and policies. We ask any weapon that is purchased that can be considered dangerous be taken and put in your vehicle


We do not allow concealed weapons. Your cosplay weapon may be zip tied to the holster or sheath. All props must be certified by the Sinister Creature Con Cosplay staff even if they have previously been peace bonded at other conventions.


These policies and rules are in place to ensure the safety of all the attendees. We are very lenient on our weapons policies compared to other conventions because we want you to focus on enjoying the convention

so please let’s continue to have good and SAFE fun.

Peace-Bonding Guidelines

The effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, of the item or the skill, or lack of skill, of the person in possession of the item is irrelevant when determining whether or not it is a weapon.

All weapons & props must be approved at the peace bonding table upon entering the convention.

If you purchase a weapon or prop such as: swords, knives, stars, air soft guns, plastic pellet guns, gun blades, wooden katanas, Kendo sticks, etc. and you intend to carry it around the convention as a prop you

need to take it to peace bonding to have it approved.

If you do not intend to use it as a prop, we would appreciate it if you kept it in the packaging and placed it in your vehicle.

Mistress of Ceremonies


Mercury Rising is Sacramento California's number 1 drag queen voted by the people three years running. She is the hostess for the local Saturday shows at Capitol Garage and Solomons Delicatessen as well as a regular host at Badlands and Faces in the Lavender Heights area on 21st and K street. 


Known as the “trash goddess” “parking lot Princess” and the overall “jackass of drag” Mercury Rising has become one of the most influential drag entertainers and show hostesses in the Northern California area. 


She has hosted and judged with Sinister Creature Con for several years and we are thrilled to have her back!

Meet Your Judges


SoFettUp from HopeItHolds Cosplay and Props. Cosplayer and prop builder for the last 10 years. Most notable cosplays include Blink the Weaping Angel, BRIDE of Frankenstein, and FairyGodmother. She is also a model/producer with the Geek Fashion Show the first and largest geek themed all-inclusive fashion show in the country. She is involved with several charities such as:
*ExtraLife (charity gaming for local children’s hospitals),
*USS Balthasar (charity focusing on funding underprivileged children success in the arts)
*Lathrop CVC (community-based charity focused on First Responders)
*Free Mom Hugs (charity focusing on support and resources for the LGBTQIA+ community)


Performing as a Cosplayer since 2016, SindirooCOSplays is also a set, prop and costume design educator at a local high school who is still always eager to learn new methods and techniques to teach her students.


She is involved with Project Wish Upon A Star, a 501c3 Valley Non Profit providing unique opportunities for pediatric patients in California. She also volunteers with League of Heroes Inspired who works with charities and local groups such as KCCA (Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance), The Ticket to Dream Foundation, Shriner’s Hospital, Sutter Children’s Hospital, Sacramento Children’s Receiving Homes, and St. John’s Women’s Shelter. She am also a model with the Geek Fashion Show the first and largest geek themed all-inclusive fashion show in the country.


As an educator and a cosplayer she hopes to create a better community for the future generations through education, outreach and fun. 

Gina Von Damm.png

Gina is the co-founder and leader of the cosplay charity group, League for Hope, founded in 2018, to bring hope to others who are going through significant life challenges. Since 2014, she has led charity visits to local children’s hospitals for bedside visits, organized appearances at local charity events, arranged movie visits for child cancer patients with their favorite movie characters, and trained cosplayers on how to interact with children going through challenging life events.

She holds her group to a high costume standard that makes the character believable to the children who meet them and has performers in just about every child-friendly genre from superheroes to princesses and everything in between. She also regularly reads the tarot at several annual Sacramento events, including the Vampire Ball and the California Mermaid Convention’s Bubble Ball, as the mysterious Lady of the Owls, Athene Noctua.

The Cosplay Director


Frankie Vanity comes to Sinister Creature Con as Cosplay Director and Judge with 18 years of cosplay and public relations experience in Comic, Anime, and Event Coordinating. 


She was a costume designer for over 30 years in theater, independent film, and haunted houses. She has a Sacramento Ellie Nomination under her belt for Best Costumes for Equus at The Show Below(now The William J Geery Theater).


Frankie Loves classic horror, vampires, and things that are dark and unique. Horror has become a part of her life.

The Cosplay Team

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