Judging a Halloween costume contest that involves just a dozen or so family members is simple. Bring plenty of fun toy trophies with you and be sure everyone some sort of prize and lots of praise. If one costume is outstanding or the absolute funniest, award that person a special prize.
However, if the contest has dozens of participants, including men, women, boys, girls and infants, set up a schedule and prizes for each group. They could include the following categories:
1. Originality: There will be many Snow Whites, Cindarellas, clowns, princesses, ghosts and other expected costumes in the contest. They’re OK, but perhaps you’d rather award prizes for costumes representing people in the news this year, such as Lady Gaga, a miner from Chile, Justin Bieber, President Obama, Lindsay Lohan or Osama bin Laden.
2. People from the past: Recognize those wearing vintage costumes, including Napoleon, Washington, Lincoln, Nero, Cleopatra, Pocahontas, Sitting Bull and others from the history books.
3. Creativity: Those who made their own costumes should be recognized for their skills. The child deserves a prize for creating a Sponge Bob Square Pants costume made out of a large carton with the character’s face on it. An infant dressed as Lady Gaga or a bunny rabbit could earn an award.
4. Funniest: Award a prize for the costume on a hairy guy who looks like a nightmare version of Lady Gaga, or the gal who dresses as the muscle-bound Dog the Bounty Hunter.
5. Scariest: That little devil looks like a real little devil, and deserves a prize. So does the husband and wife team of bloody zombies.
How should you judge a Halloween costume contest? Bring all kinds of goofy awards and give everyone some kind of prize. Remember it’s Halloween fun time, not election night, the Olympics nor Nobel Prize awards.