Marty Gear Memorial Masquerade logo, with Marty Fear as a vampire

See the Masquerade Results page for Masquerade Results and Photos

Balticon has an incredibly diverse fandom with some amazing ideas to put on the Masquerade Stage. Please join us for an incredible night of creativity and fun!


Cosplay, or the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, is a strong component of Balticon. While not a requirement, many attendees wander around the con dressed as their favorite character. Certificates are awarded to the best costumes photographed in the Saturday Hall Costume contest. LARP (or Live Action Role Playing) games occur throughout the con. The highlight is the masquerade held on Saturday evening.

Balticon offers hours of costuming panels, workshops and presentations. We try to schedule quite a bit before the Masquerade so that novices can pick up some last minute coaching if they want it.


The Masquerade will be held in the Main Ballroom beginning at 9 PM on Saturday (Doors open at 8:30 PM). Individual and group entries each take the stage for a short presentation showcasing their costume. The entries are judged by a panel and awards are given in various categories. The goal of the Masquerade and Tech crews is to enable our costumers a chance to put on a good show for the enjoyment of all. Everyone is invited to enjoy the display of creativity and artistry that will be on our stage.

For the costumers’ safety, flash photography is not permitted during the performance. However, an area will be available off-stage to photograph the costumers. A DVD containing a multi-camera, edited video of the Masquerade presentation will be available for sale.

For those of you who are new to Balticon, the Masquerade is a great way to see how science fiction and fantasy fans interpret their favorite stories, or even make up some of their own to share. Children will get to show off their favorite characters before the adults get to strut their stuff. Audience response (laughter, cheering, groans for the puns) is as necessary as the costumers themselves.

Established attendees of Balticon come to the Masquerade to cheer on their friends and favorites on stage, and delight in the new ideas that show up year after year.


For those interested in participating, you can find more information here: Balticon 53 Masquerade General Information. The Balticon Masquerade will be run according to the International Costumers Guild guidelines. Registration for the masquerade occurs on Friday from 4PM to 7PM and on Saturday from 10AM to 2PM. Check at the masquerade table in the atrium of the hotel (near the con registration area.)

Group costumes and individual entries are welcome! Groups of from one (1) to four (4) contestants will be permitted a maximum of one minute (60 seconds) on stage. Groups of five or more will be permitted a maximum of two minutes. Short is better than long.

Please refer to the Masquerade Rules page for important information.

Introducing the Masquerade Director for Balticon 53

Karen Purcell at sewing machine

Dear Masquerade Fans,

My name is Karen Purcell, aka Dr. Karen, and I will be your Balticon 53 Masquerade Director. My Mom taught me to sew as a child, and I have been making my own costumes since my tweens. Over the years, I have been involved in many Masquerades, and look forward to being your director! I love getting to support my fellow costumers in the best ways to share their wonderful creations. Contact me via email: