Kids Corner


Beard and Moustache Championship
in New York City



STOP PRESS: It is imperative that New York Sikhs turn up in droves for this event which, it appears, is custom-made for Sikhs! And, of course, participate!



Facial hair may be de rigueur in certain irony-loving neighbourhoods in the city, but around the country it can still be a badge of ne'er-do-wells.

"We call it beardism," said Matthew Saccoman, a high school teacher from Meriden, Connecticut, known to his friends as Beardzzz.

So when Mr. Saccoman, 31, came to watch the inaugural New York City Beard and Mustache Championship in 2006, he felt a sudden sense of kinship. "The camaraderie, just being in a place where I was finally welcomed and appreciated for the way I look," was inspiring, he said.

So much so that, after the founders, Jon Friedman and Jon Bulette, did not continue the contest, Mr. Saccoman decided to organize his own event.

The second Beard and Mustache Championship will take place today - Saturday, March 14, 2009 - at Public Assembly in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at 8.00 pm.

Mr. Saccoman said he spent thousands of dollars on the event; his wife, Cynthia, contributed graphic design.

"I wouldn't call her pro-beard," Mr. Saccoman said, laughing. His current growth is about five inches long. "It's fabulous," he said. "It's hard to describe your own beard, but if I had to, I'd say it's sort of bird's nest."

About 70 contestants from around the country will compete for the $500 grand prize, testing their follicles in categories like full beard freestyle, patchy beard, recession beard and ladies' artificial. Goatees, sideburns and mustaches will also be represented.

"We're all about respect," Mr. Saccoman said; he also hopes to recoup his investment. Entertainment includes a ZZ Top cover band, the Beards of Comedy troupe and a female burlesque act.

How will nonbearded spectators feel?

"Naked," he said. "When they walk out, they might consider attempting a beard or a mustache. That's one of our goals."

(At 8 p.m., 70 North Sixth Street,; $15 in advance; $20 at the door.)


[Courtesy: The New York Times]

March 14, 2009

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Beard and Moustache Championship
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