There comes a time in every mans life in which he must decide whether to shave, or not to shave. Making this choice isn't as easy as one might think. Anyone can make it a month or two without shaving, but for those that choose the bearded life, it is not just a choice, but rather a commitment. It is a commitment of living life with respect; caring for your fellow beardsman, and putting others before yourself. If you have chosen the path to becoming a beardsman, welcome. You are in for an incredible experience that will hopefully last a lifetime.
The First Event
From the moment I arrived for my first event, I was hooked. I had found something I felt completely comfortable with, and instantly fell in love with. It is strange to say someone fell in love with a beard event, but it is more than just an event, and you have to experience one for yourself to truly understand this statement. The beardsmen that organized and put this event on are truly exceptional. This event benefited two charities: The Tarrant Area Food Bank and the Wise Hope Shelter & Crisis Center.
At 5PM, the doors opened. Hundreds of contestants and individuals were lined up; readying themselves for the next few hours of all things beard. Pint glasses were handed out. Contestants were ushered to the folks at Facial Hair League to begin the registration process. The night had begun. Cheers!
As the night progressed, great conversation and laughter ensued. The judges had arrived, and were readying their place at the stage, awaiting the contestants and their glorious facial hair. With immense applause, the contests began. The event categories were:
Iron Whistle | Iron Whistle Styled | Bucking Chops | Angry Goatee | Pretty Boy Pug
Texas Redbeard | Winter Warmest Sr. | Winter Warmer Jr. | Mr. Visionary | Mr. Visionary
Best in Show - Crowd Favorite
One by one, bearded men were called on stage to be judged on their mustaches, their goatees, their finely trimmed and cut beards, or their full-beard natural growth Winter Warmer. Seeing the faces of the winners of the various categories was special. Their hard work to grow, and maintain their beards or mustaches had paid off. They were leaving that night with their heads held high. In the social sphere of winners and losers, there was no one person that lost. In the bearded community, if one wins, they all win. It is a brotherhood. And they all celebrate together.
The night was not only about beards, but about friendship. Walking through the crowd, I noticed familiar faces, talking to their friends; laughing and cheering each other on. Rahr & Sons Brewery had allowed us to have a great venue, for an incredible event. The atmosphere was electric and exciting; good beer was flowing; and the faint "cling" of glasses could be heard as beardsmen and women alike shared in the enjoyment of each pint.
Experiencing an event like this; experiencing the bearded lifestyle is something that everyone must do, at least once in their lifetime. The Rustic Beardsman will continue to support and sponsor events like this around the country, when possible.
Until then, enjoy some of the pictures from the event!
Photography by: Joe Gladski (Joe Friendly)
Photography by: Kurt William Hunt