Balticon has an incredibly diverse fandom with some amazing ideas to dress up both our hallways and 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. Many attendees choose to wander around the con dressed as their favorite character, and some may participate in the Hall Costume Contest. The costuming highlight of the weekend is the Masquerade held on Saturday evening.

Balticon offers hours of costuming panels, workshops, and presentations. We try to schedule the majority before the Masquerade so that novices can pick up last minute coaching if desired.

The Marty Gear Memorial Masquerade

The Marty Gear Memorial Masquerade (Masquerade) will be held at 8pm on Saturday in the Main Ballroom. (Doors open 30 minutes before the event.) Individual and group contestants take the stage for a short presentation showcasing their costumes. Children will get to show off their favorite characters before the adults strut their stuff. Our team of expert judges award points in several categories, including creativity, craftsmanship, and presentation. Winners are announced at the end of the evening. The goal of the Masquerade is to give our costumers a chance to share their talent and 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 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 at some point in the future.

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 create some of their own to share. Audience response (laughter, cheering, groans for the puns) is as necessary as the costumers themselves.

Come to the Masquerade to cheer on your friends and favorites on stage, and delight in the new ideas that show up. Maybe you’ll be inspired to make your own costume!

Enter a Costume in the Masquerade

All questions can be directed to the Masquerade director at

Introducing the Masquerade Director

Dear Masquerade Fans,

My name is Karen Purcell, aka Dr. Karen, and I will be your Balticon 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: