Bearding: Heritage Festival Competition

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Contestants for the 2015 Beard and Mustache competition. 2nd from left took home 2nd place Beard Natural, 3rd from left got 1st in Mustache, 5th from left took home 2nd in Mustache and 2nd from right took home 3rd in Beard Natural. Not pictured: late arrival and 1st place in Beard Natural, ‘Moonpie’.

The competition was ‘thick’ this year (see what I did there?) at the third annual Beard Growing competition at the Heritage Festival at the Lincoln County Historical Museum in North Platte, NE.

11 contestants battled it out for a spot at the top of the Beard Natural category and another 2 went head to head in the mustache category.  Sadly, the freestyle beard and sideburns category remained un-entered.  As you can see in the picture above, the competition was fierce and I, even while trying to channel the might of mountain man John Colter through my costume, had my work cut out for me.  There were a lot of top quality beards in the running.  What I lacked in fullness I was hoping to make up for in length and color.  In the end, I couldn’t make the grade as a man called Moonpie took home top honors, dethroning the 2 time champ from the last two years.

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Standing before the judges while my fellow beards-men look on.

  But not all hope was lost for me.  After the announcement of the winners, the event organizers moved on to the ‘Softest Beard’ competition, the winner of which would receive a pie!  As the judge went from beard to beard feeling for softness, I hoped that the daily oiling and occasional shampoo would do well to help me not leave empty handed.  As the judge came to me I could see her almost do a double-take as she fondled my whiskers.  I held out some hope, but didn’t want to get too excited, as I didn’t want to be too heart-broken if I didn’t win, yet again.  She made it through all the contestants and went back for another feel on one gentleman.  It must be a close decision.  She came back to me for round two of fluffiness.  I must be in the running!  She whispers in the announcer’s ear, she has made her decision.  I try to remain even-keeled.  I am confident in the maintenance of my beard, but am unfamiliar with the touch-ability of my competition.  The announcer puts the mic to his face, ‘And the winner of softest beard is… Josh Henderson, of Kearney, NE!’

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Me, with my beard, and the pie we won for being the softest.

And as great as a thrill as it is to win something, it’s just great that events like this even happen.  It’s great to just be able to show up somewhere miles from home, meet up with some strangers, exchange pleasantries and share in our passion for something.

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Channeling the greatness of John Colter.

After that we took in what the museum grounds had to offer.  Historical buildings, Cowboy fast draw & sno-cone, ice cream and food vendors.  Check out the photo gallery below for more details or better yet, visit the museum!

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Before leaving town we ate at Penny’s Diner and stopped by the Fort Cody Trading Post, which I hadn’t been to since I was a kid.  Check out the photo gallery below for pictures from Fort Cody.

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