Oddities and Curiosities Competition

Have you ever wondered if you possessed the talent and ingenuity to build an oddity to rival the great Mysterious Thing or to enthrall the world like Barnum’s infamous Feejee Mermaid? Perhaps you think you have what it takes to cobble together the next implausible icon of circus lore. Well now is your chance, ladies and gentlemen! In this convivial contest of creativity, you will build and present to the world your own mysterious, monstrous or magical creations. All of our brilliant participating sideshow professors and hucksters of humbug will proudly display their oddities, curiosities and gaffs in a lineup the likes of which haven’t been seen since the golden age of Coney Island. Our judges will then decide who among you is worthy of the title of Symposium Sideshow winner!


Anyone is able to participate in this event, but anyone under 18 must have the permission of a parent or guardian


  • The oddities contest is open to anyone who has purchased a ticket to Symposium, and to all staff. No person engaged in judging or hosting the contest will be permitted to enter an item for judging.
  • To ensure fairness to all participants, all oddities and gaffs must be made by hand. This doesn’t mean they must be made entirely from scratch. Items that are modified from existing props such as plastic skeletons, legally harvested and owned taxidermy, dolls or other materials are welcome. No premade and unmodified Halloween props, toys or animatronics will be considered. Example; A store-bought skeleton will not be considered as a legal entry, but the same skeleton with fake skin, paint, hair and other additions would be. Be creative!
  • Please keep all designs tasteful and safe. Remember there are families here. No overtly lewd or vulgar imagery will be permitted. No live animals, real firearms, flame, dangerous chemicals or illegal/illicit items are allowed. Faux animal parts and fur are preferred, but if real animal parts are to be used, please ensure that they are properly preserved and/or prepared to prevent bad smells or hazardous conditions. If your oddity has sharp teeth, spines, preserving fluids or other potentially dangerous parts, please display it in such a way as to reduce the possibility of it injuring someone. Any entry seen as dangerous or offensive will be disqualified at host’s discretion. If you have a question about your entry, please ask a host before displaying.
  • Entries will be judged impartially and based on many factors including realism, uniqueness, craftsmanship and presentation of the item. Overall size of the entry will have no bearing on the judges’ decision.


  • 1st Place Winner
  • 2nd Place Winner
  • 3rd Place Winner