Competition this Saturday will gather the best and beardiest, the mostest of the moustachioed at The Palomino to pick the finest of the face-furr folk, raise money for Ronald McDonald House.
It’s an open call for the hirsute among us or those who merely have a fetish for the fuzz.
On Saturday The Palomino Smokehouse, The Calgary Facial Hair Club and Mammoth Beard Co. will be presenting the Third annual Alberta Beard and Moustache Championships at The Pal.
The competition is expected to attract the unshaven from all across the country, with the fur set to fly as they fight it out in a number of different categories, and all of the money raised going to the amazing Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta.
Before the big, beardy day, organizer Lee Palichuk, from the local grooming and care product maker and supplier Mammoth Beard Co., spoke with theYYSCENE.
Q: What different categories are there?
A: We have natural beard under six inches, natural beard over six inches, natural beard with styled moustache, freestyle moustache, freestyle beard, partial beard and then lady beard.
Q: Lady beard? Do you get many contestants in the lady beard category?
A: Last year I think we had three. We didn’t really advertise it, it was kind of a last-minute add last year. Hopefully we’ll have a bit more. In other competitions it’s a really big category so we’re hoping we can get a few more girls involved in it.
Q: What are you looking for in each category? Obviously with freestyle moustache you’re looking for something a little crazier or wilder, right?
A: In a lot of competitions there are two moustache (categories): there’s a natural moustache where you don’t use any wax or anything and then there’s freestyle where you can wax. We combined it just because it’s a smaller category in Calgary. So they can do anything they want, they can wax and style it, leave it natural. And then the judges are just looking for, if it is styled, the style of it, the length, the creativity and crowd reaction is also a factor — in every category, how the crowd reacts to it.
Q: Beard-wise, what do you think makes a good beard?
A: I think just a well-kept beard, someone who has taken care of it. It should look full definitely, and just healthy, not too scraggly — just a good looking beard, which nowadays with the use of products a lot more people have really nice beards.
Q: Does anyone ever cheat? Are there beard and moustache cheaters out there?
A: (Laughs) There can be, because in the natural categories you’re not supposed to use any product at all — no moustache wax, no beard oil or anything. We’ve never caught anyone but I’m sure it’s happened in the past, if not in our competition in others. And length, I think one time we had a guy that was in the under six inches category and he shouldn’t have been. He just got bumped into the next one.
Q: OK, so he wasn’t ostracized from the beard people or held down and sheared?
A: (Laughs) We may have heckled him a bit.
Q: How can people enter?
A: We’re doing all entries at the competition, so registration’s from 3 until 5:30. So you just come in and we’ll have a couple of people at the door — we will be measuring beards so we avoid the problem from the first year, the guy being in the wrong category. We measure them up and see which category they fit into and go from there. And then the competition starts at 6.
Q: What are some of the prizes?
A: We’ll have a prize for first, second and third in every category. They’re handmade leather medallions and some categories you also get your name on the big trophies that stay at The Palomino. And there’ll be some Mammoth Beard prizes …
All the money we’re raising is for the Ronald McDonald House. They wanted a new barbecue, so we’re raising money for that. And hopefully we’ll surpass that and can donate the rest to them as well. It’s a $10 entry for every competitor that will go to that and we’re doing a draw, so The Palomino is donating some things and a couple of barber shops — so we’ll generate some money that way. And I’m going to have a Mammoth booth there and we’re giving 20 per cent of everything sold there to the Ronald McDonald House as well.
Q: So it’s bearding for a good cause.
A: (Laughs) That’s what we try to do.
The Third Annual Beard and Moustache Championships take place Saturday at The Palomino Smokehouse. Doors open at 2 p.m. with the registration/sign-in taking place from 3 to 5:30 and the competition beginning at 6.
Mike Bell has been covering the Calgary music scene for the past 25 years with publications such as VOX, Fast Forward, the Calgary Sun and, most recently, the Calgary Herald. He is currently the music writer and content editor for theYYSCENE.ca, and the co-host of the show Saved By the Bell, which airs Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. on CJSW 90.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter/@mrbell_23 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is currently beardless. And unmoustachioed.