Costume-Con 40 Pandemic Mask Competition

A Mask Competition for Costume-Con 40!

A figure in dark robes and hat carries a stick and wears a beak-nosed mask that protects the face from germs. The engraving contains text that is not legible.

Copper engraving of Doctor Schnabel (i.e., Dr. Beak), a plague doctor in seventeenth-century Rome, circa 1656.

We can survive this together. From one plague to the next, masks are often the best defense. The plague doctors were hired by towns to treat anyone with the plague. They often just kept records of those who were infected or died. The physicians’ masks were filled with aromatic items to protect them from the putrid air. During the 1918 influenza and COVID-19 pandemics, medical staff and civilians covered their mouth and nose to prevent the spread of the virus.

In recognition of what the world has gone through these last few years, Costume-Con® 40 will have a special competition, like the witches’ hats, codpieces, bras, and ties of previous Costume-Con contests. Here are the rules.

The Rules

Here are the rules:

  1. You do not have to be a member of Costume-Con 40 to enter; however, if you are not a member, you must arrange with a member to set up and take down your entry.
  2. There will be two categories:
    1. Plague Doctor Mask: A Plague doctor mask entry must be based on the Black Plague doctor masks and wearable by a human being.
    2. Flu mask: A Flu mask entry must be based on a mask worn by the public or medical professionals during the Spanish flu or Covid-19 pandemics, be wearable by a human being, and cover both the nose and mouth.
  3. Each entry must be recognizable as a mask. Otherwise, you are free to use whatever materials and techniques you wish to make, decorate, and embellish your mask.
  4. You may display your mask on a stand or display head. The display must be able to sit on a table.
  5. A panel of judges will be selected to judge the entries. They will award as many or as few awards as they deem appropriate.
  6. There will be a “people’s award” for each of the categories. Each attendee will receive a “hall card” to vote when they check-in at the convention, to be cast no later than the close of the exhibit on Saturday, April 2, 2022.
  7. Entries must be submitted and placed between 10am Friday, April 1, 2022 and noon Saturday, April 2, 2022. We prefer they be on display early on Friday so attendees can admire them prior to the voting deadline.
  8. Entries should be on display through the convention.
  9. Entries are not to appear in other CC40 contest/masquerades.
  10. All entries must be picked up by noon on Monday, April 4, 2022. Any entries remaining after the convention closes on Monday may be disposed as we see fit.
  11. By entering your mask, you agree that Costume-Con 40’s official photographer and guests of the conference may photograph and record video of your entry and that those images may be used in promotions for future Costume-Con conferences. You also agree to allow the photographs and video to be posted on and the International Costumers’ Guild (ICG) Archives. All other rights to each entry remain with the designers/creators.

Any questions should be directed to the Show Director: Merrily Wolf (

Online registration is now closed.