Portland World Beard and Moustache Championships 2014
On Oct 25 I had the opportunity to attend this event and had a great time. There were a lot of attendees and participants. Oregon and Washington being beard country especially, there were a lot of bearding contestants. Over 80 in the natural beard alone.
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Unfortunately, that bloated the judging schedule and forced a rush through much of the contest with the assistant MC (name escapes me) doing a great job of moving things along, despite many of the contestants seemingly being deaf to his instructions to stand here or there or leave the stage or stay on stage. It was a bit comical, and a bit unfortunate that the schedule became so jammed.
I was very glad I got there early and my brother and I got fourth row seats center, which was ideal. I took about 100 pictures and bits of video and will aim to get as much of that up as I can this month. You can see over 70 pics on my Flickr account at https://www.flickr.com/photos/47502056@N02/
Judging started off with moustache categories. There were not so many participants, but it was pretty good. There were some freestyle that were excellent and it was funny to watch from behind when the contestants were facing the judges and they wiggled their moustaches.
Jeffrey Moustache – click to enlarge
The real flare started – literally – with the musketeer category. A lot of great entries, but Jeffrey Moustache topped them all with his enormous moustache, and self-made costume that included a top hat the lit up in flames without actually burning the material. He won hands down. Reigning champ Al Underwood was mysteriously absent until the last minute and the judging had to be done over, but Jeffrey won again and Al did come in third.
Bearding has a huge following in that part of the country and some well-known individuals got very enthusiastic support from sections of the audience. There were some nationally known names/faces/beards – all of which escape me just now – check the pics – and some great entries all around.
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Costuming was very good in some instances, non-existent in others. Judges were directed to award points based on how well the facial hair complemented the overall appearance of the contestant. A lot of guys showed up in tshirt and jeans, but many had put thought into the event. There were fine tuxedos, colorful and imaginative outfits, three variants of wizards, a couple of cross-dressers-ish entries, one of whom was hearing impaired (looked like there were maybe four hearing impaired entrants and a sign interpreter was at stage right). One gent I met in the lobby was wearing a 100 year old bear skin coat he got at an estates sale. Very impressive!
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I encourage you to participate in contests you have access to. I’ve done a few myself – not this one – and have a few suggestions:
- Put some thought into your costume. It makes a big difference. Remember this is literally a beauty contest.
- Put some effort into your presentation and presence on stage. A bit of personality goes a long way. Be bold.
- Have fun.
- Make friends.