Wednesday, 07 August 2013 14:52

Showin' Off Our BEER-ds!

Written by  T Stastny
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Second Great Lakes Regional Beard and Mustache Championship
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
Aug. 24, 7 p.m.
$10 adv/$15 day of, $35 (VIP) (616) 272-3758

What once might have been the mark of dirty hippies and vagabonds seems to have quite suddenly evolved into a pop culture fashion statement. Speaking of the you've-probably-never-heard-of-it-before hipster culture in particular, young folks have recently adopted the iconic and ironically overused mustache as one of its identifiers. Everywhere you look, there are mustache print leggings, mustache T-shirts, mustache wallets, purses, the list could just go on and on. However, this screen-printed facial hair fad doesn't stand a chance against the real deal. No way.

People everywhere have been celebrating facial hair long before this hipster trend set in, establishing clubs that worship the mighty whiskers. And don't think Grand Rapids has been missing out on all the hairy fun this whole time. The Grand Rapids Order of Whiskers (G.R.O.W.) has graciously accepted the offer to host the Second Annual Great Lakes Regional Beard & Mustache Championship.

Beard lovers from far and near (but probably mostly far) are invited to come flaunt their follicular masterpieces and enjoy the opportunity to experience some of Grand Rapids' local culture. The Order of Whiskers has a full weekend planned for all their furry guests that starts with a Meet N' Greet on Friday night for all the competitors.

Since Grand Rapids was named Beer City two years running, this year's competition has been dubbed "Beer City Edition." The competition will feature, in addition to some of the fiercest competitors, a selection of Grand Rapids' local brews. And, a nice Hangover Brunch will be held the next morning at Rezervoir Lounge. The brunch will be open to the public as well.

The competition itself will showcase a wide range of facial hair categories with varying restrictions in style, length, and creativity. Categories include "Mustache Styled," "Full Beard Natural" and "Full Beard Freestyled."

"If you've never seen a freestyle beard, then you HAVE to come," says G.R.O.W. President Alex Dunn.

"The freestyle is where the real artistry comes in you'll never see a guy do the same style twice," added G.R.O.W. Internal Vice President Carrie Reece.

In addition to all this, there will be two other categories – Women's Fake Realistic and Women's Fake Fantastical – designated entirely for the ladies.

"A lot of them use real hair from ... wherever," Dunn said. "And they just glue it to their face."

First and second place will be awarded, as well as "Best Crowd Response," and the fiercest competitor of all will be awarded "Best in Show."

And as if spending a night drinking beer and ogling follicles didn't already sound spectacular enough, all the proceeds from this event will be going to Kid's Food Basket.

"You get to hang out with a bunch of really cool people, and donate to a charity that doesn't have as much visibility," Dunn said.

The Second Annual Great Lakes Regional Beard & Mustache Championship will take place at the Pyramid Scheme on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m.

Whiskers or not, all are welcome.

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