The costume contest of G-FEST (Godzilla Festival) has increased by leaps and bounds (it went from around three entrees in the beginning to over forty contestants this year) while serving as a finale of sorts to its participants. G-FEST, however, is not content to just have their cosplay (who are often too bulky to move about during the weekend as traditional costumers can) dress as their favorite monster. They provide an opportunity for them to stomp around a miniature city while acting out in their own kaiju movie.
This year they even created a cockpit to film aerial scenes!
Saturday evening Luke and I relaxed in our hotel room and ordered a pizza. I was just getting into the latest Japanese offering on the house TV channel when my son reminded me that we’d better hightail it downstairs to the main ballroom for the costume parade or risk not getting a seat. He wasn’t kidding. G-FEST has grown quite a bit these past few years which has proved to be a mixed blessing to us regulars. The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont had been the perfect fit for years but this years costume parade turn-out illustrated that some aspects are starting to get tight.
We found seats but, after the parade began, it became obvious that the only way we’d see anything was if we watched it on the TV monitor. That wasn’t always ideal as you had to wait for the younger costumers to get up front before the camera could catch them over fan heads. This lead to an unintentionally funny moment as they announced “Gamera” was walking by and all you saw was the older lady accompanying him. “Where’s the monster?” Luke asked. “Maybe they said ‘Grandmera?” I replied.
One interesting thing that happened this year was bringing out a guy and his friend who didn’t appear to be wearing any costume. Once they made it upfront they started performing Ultraman-like arm moves until one of the guys produced an engagement ring to a woman sitting in the front row. The woman broke down in tears as his best friend stood behind in support. Fortunately, she said “Yes!”
I was very curious to see how the NEW Godzilla will play out here and there were definitely some younger fans who showed their support!
After a few more I got tired of watching the video and missing the LIVE action so I opted to go outside in the hallway and catch them as they were entering the hall or, in some cases, returning from it. This proved much better. I think it would have been ideal for spectators had the contestants walked up and down ALL of the aisles so everyone could admire them but that’s easy for me to say as I wasn’t trying to stroll around in a bulky monster suit.
One thing you can count on is to see Super G-Fan, Billy Dubose, and his excellent Godzila costume. He’s always willing to dress up, year after year, while taking the time to show kids a great time!
Here are more of the G-FEST XXI costumers!
Coming up…celebrity panels