The Battle of the Beards

Somerville is hosting its fourth BeardFest.

Most of the Red Sox World Series rally beards might be gone, but there is a bevy of brethren still sporting bushy facial hair out there, and on Sunday they will compete for the bragging rights of best look.

On Sunday, the Somerville Arts Council will host BeardFest 2014 at the Arts at the Armory on Highland Avenue, where dozens of contestants with twisted whiskers will take the stage and try and win a title in one of five categories: natural full beard, free-style full beard, free-style moustache, and free-style partial beard—which includes goatees, sideburns, and any other creative combination so long as it involves hair.

There is even a category for what organizers call “follicle challenged” contestants, so if growing facial hair isn’t something you can do, don’t feel left out.

“You’re definitely going to see a few Santa beards, some guys with chops, and some mustaches,” said Bert Meyer, president and founder of the Boston Beard Bureau, a social club that brings together people with serious facial hair once a month to talk about all things beards. “I think the freestyle beards will be bigger this year. Those guys put big circles and spikes into their beards. Women are competing as well, they will have actual beards built for them.”

Meyer and members of the Boston Beard Bureau will be on hand during the event. He said the beard-offs aren’t meant to be taken seriously, and this particular competition is all-inclusive. “It’s fun. It’s really just an excuse to hang out with people,” he said. “From what I’ve learned, people will just show up or come off the street.”

This weekend’s “fun, creative” hair contest falls under the family-friendly category, according to organizers. Because it’s being held during the day, anybody that wants to watch the competition—or join in—is encouraged to swing by the Armory for the beard-off. There will even be a table set up on site so people who can’t grow their own facial hair can construct a faux-beard with felt materials and pipe cleaners.

In preparation for the Boston Beard Bureau hosting the 2014 Northeast Regional Beard and Moustache Championships on August 2, a barber will also be at the event to help people clean up and get a fresh start for the summer meet up.

“Competitors who choose to be shaven on site at our BeardFest will be eligible to compete in the “six-month Sprint” category at the Regional Championships on August 2,” according to the event details.

If you go:
Sunday, February 2, 2-5 p.m.
Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville.
$5 for general entry and for registrants.

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