Beard JournalsFriday, May 22nd 2009 by Pat
This week we’ve been reporting live from the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Anchorage and acting as correspondents for KXLL Excellent Radio and David Malki’s Wondermark. Malki requested some road journals and I thought I should share them here as well.
Tuesday, May 19
We arrived in Anchorage today, an unimpressive clump of concrete dwarfed
by vast and beautiful surroundings. This year, Anchorage will host the
World Beard and Moustache Championships, an event which takes place every
other year and has been primarily rooted in European countries.
We spent our day wandering around lost until we found a man with a brown
70′s van and a long beard. He led us down an industrial back road to the
Midnight Sun Brewery where we met up with several competitors, organizers,
and beard fans from all parts of the world. A rising enthusiasm surrounds
Wednesday, May 20
Today a large contingent of American competitors arrived after cruising up
through the inside passage of Southeast Alaska, the Germans rolled in
yesterday and independent travelers from all over the world have been
arriving by every means of transportation imaginable. Except hot air
balloon, which is a slight disappointment. I’m still hoping for a man
with a grand moustache to alight.
The World Beard and Moustache Championships kicked off in the late
afternoon with a barbecue in Kincaid Park — an odd series of fields
surrounded by remnants of cold war era ground-to-air missile bunkers.
Hundreds of grinning bearded and mustachioed gentlemen packed the event
with their friends, families, agents, stylists and associates in tow. I
counted seven film crews from as many cities and this was just the
Thursday, May 21
Today is a down day, the calm before the beard storm. We picked up our press passes and wandered around town meeting moustaches and locals. In Alaska it’s hard to tell who is here to compete and who just trekked out of the woods to pick up some eggs and butter.
Lunch at Falafel King left bellies and beards filled with hummus and then it was off to Value Village to assemble the rest of Aaron’s outfit. He’s competing in the new Alaskan Whaler category and we found some good galoshes, wool pants, and suspenders to fill out his nautical look.
Judging is based on several factors – length, color, body, and hair style all factor into the decision and costumes, while not required, are a good way to frame and give context to the facial hair.
Judges this year include local hair experts, former beard champions, celebrity dog mushers, and past judges of local competitions.