The World's Greatest Beard Contests
Get competitive with your facial hair – and enter the world of amazing beard contests
There’s more than just oil and fish to celebrate up in the Alaskan Arctic. Fairbanks is home to the hairiest competition ever, the annual Grizzly Alaskan Contest. Part of the week-long Fairbanks Golden Days festival every July, bear-like guys are judged on beard, moustache, chest and even leg hair to find the fuzziest dude in the north. It all goes back to the gold prospectin’ days, when men were men and beards were like blankets – so don’t go overboard on grooming for this championship.
Find out more from the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce http://www.fairbankschamber.org/
This year, Team Beard USA fell at the final hurdles in the Internationals, so competition at the national level to select a team for the 2013 event will be crucial. Taking place October 13 in Lancaster, PA, there’s not just national pride at stake: $5000 in prize money is up for grabs.
Judging beard and mustaches across five categories (moustache, partial beard, full beard groomed, full beard natural, and freestyle), the event is taking place in the heart of Amish country, a beard Mecca for those in the know.
Captain of Beard Team USA is 62 year-old semiretired lawyer and conference judge Phil Olsen, a great advocate for competitive bearding: as he told one Seattle Times reporter at last year’s nationals, “"I get compliments on my beard every day. I've never heard anyone say anything negative about it. I'm sure some people don't like it, but they can keep their opinions to themselves or I'll send them to jail."
Find out more at http://beardteamusa.org/nationals/
In the white heat of international competition, it’s the World Beard Championships that witnesses the fiercest challenge. Held every two years at beard-friendly locations, the contest attracts competitors from across the planet, pitting their hirsuite skills in categories such as Fu Manchu, Dali and the creative Freestyle event.
With men travelling from as far afield as Russia, Australia and Canada, it’s the benchmark event for beardiness. Germany has long ruled the leaderboard, but a surprise upset came in the 2009 event when the US contestants swept the trophy cabinet, when Team USA member David Traver was crowned overall champ with a beard styled to resemble an Alaskan snowshoe. Winners require patience and utter dedication to their styling, as the wife of Partial Beard Freestyle Winner Dieter Besuch told the press: “He can only drink through a straw and can't eat anything when he's got that beard on."
Find out more at http://www.worldbeardchampionships.com/
Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, Florida, hosts the annual Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike contest. It’s a ruthlessly competitive beard-off, with hundreds of guys emulating the Nobel-winning author’s famous fisherman stylings. This year the trophy was taken by biomedical engineer Matt Gineo on his 12th attempt.
As Gineo told reporters on his win, “This was something that I had in my heart to do, but I didn't know how many years it would take.”
Part of the celebrations include a mock-running of the bulls and a short story competition, but it’s the white-bearded, cable-sweater-wearing tributes that always capture the imagination.
Find out more at http://www.sloppyjoes.com/lookalikes.htm