Putting Their Best Facial Hair Forward

Author: Alex Spanko

Source: The Boston Globe

http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/fashion/articles/2010/02/11/beard_mustache_idea_is_really_growing/

Todd Easton didn’t want to part with his bushy beard during the cold winter months. So to justify his decision to remain hairy, he did what any upstanding facial hair enthusiast would do: He pitched a beard and mustache competition to the Somerville Arts Council.

“I have this big beard,’’ he said. “I might as well do something with it.’’

To his surprise, they took him up on the proposal and set the stage for an all-out beard brawl this Saturday at Precinct in Union Square. The format is simple. Participants will compete for pride and prizes – first place gets a medal designed by Easton himself – in five categories, from the traditional full beard to the more exotic “freestyle partial beard,’’ which opens up the field to goatees and sideburns.

It’s a far cry from the World Beard and Moustache Championships, a biannual Olympiad of handlebars and Fu Manchus that last year attracted several hundred men to Anchorage to compete for prizes in 18 categories. But Easton and the Somerville Arts Council hope it will at least bring people and excitement to Union Square during the traditionally slow winter season – and Easton says the response has been encouraging.