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What, You’ve Been to Burning Man, But Not To The World Beard and Moustache Championships?

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What, You’ve Been to Burning Man, But Not To The World Beard and Moustache Championships?

Perhaps your beard or mustache draws comparisons to Fu Manchu, Rasputin, Colonel Blimp or Salvador Dali. Maybe your facial hair needs new inspiration altogether. Or you may not even have facial hair, but think that watching a parade of eccentric, exotic and extreme beards and mustaches is even more fun than giant inflatable cartoon characters. If any of these are the case, you won’t want to miss the 2014 World Beard and Moustache Championships in Portland, Oregon this October 25.

Hosted, unsurprisingly enough, by the World Beard and Moustache Association, this world-class championship is the ne plus ultra of facial hair, with hundreds of hirsute hopefuls on display in one of the most entertaining competitions on planet Earth.

Started in 1991 by Germany’s First Höfener Beard Club, the World Beard and Moustache Championships has grown into a biennial event, over the years taking place in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Alaska and Nevada.

The competition comprises 3 brackets of facial hair: Moustache, Partial Beard and Full Beard, with at least 17 sub-categories, including 8 styles of mustache, 4 of partial beards and goatees, and 5 of full-beard. These categories cover everything (sometimes literally) from “Musketeer” and “Imperial” to “Fu Manchu” and “Dali.” For those pushing the facial hair parameters in brave new directions, there’s “Freestyle.” All throughout, whiskers and even sideburns are combed, waxed, sprayed, curled, sculpted, wired and pruned into every imaginable shape a gentleman could conceivably wear on his face. A jury of seven rates the competitors on a scale of five to ten, judging not only on hair, but also on the entire look presented, whether it’s 19th century dandy or horned Viking, and this accounts for half the fun of the hairy spectacle. The Grand Prize winner gets an all-expense paid trip to the 2015 Championship in Austria. Even if you’re not entering, the Portland Championship promises to be terrific fun, and in 2017 returns to the U.S to be held in Austin, Texas. After perusing some of the contestants’ photos, you may just add the World Beard and Moustache Championships to your bucket list.

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