RVA Beard League Championship Expects World Renowned Facial Topiary This Weekend

by | Apr 23, 2014 | POLITICS

An appreciation for beards and beer is something that many Richmonders have in common. Luckily the RVA Beard League is helping to keep this union intact with their third annual Beard and Mustache Championship.

An appreciation for beards and beer is something that many Richmonders have in common. Luckily the RVA Beard League is helping to keep this union intact with their third annual Beard and Mustache Championship.

The Beard League has organized a variety of activities this weekend surrounding the main event, the Mid-Atlantic Beard and Mustache Championship. It’s basically a competition for all types of facial hair, but over the past few years it’s grown into one of the biggest events of its kind. People from all parts of the country gather in the spirit of facial hair. Events Coordinator Jimmy Thompson says they’ve seen as many as 700 people come out to the main event and predicts this year to get even bigger.

The championship will be held at The Canal Club and the doors open at 4. Participants purchase tickets and sign up to compete in their specific facial hair category. The only criteria you need to compete is a ticket and some form of facial hair, but not any average beard is going to cut it.

Some of the participants take it to the extreme, molding their beards in outlandish patterns, while others go for length. No doubt all of them spend a copious amount of time grooming themselves to make sure their hair lives up to competition standards.

Participants will be competing for Best in Show, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. (Oh and lets not forget the bragging rights.) Thompson says, “when their number gets called, [participants] show their facial hair to the audience. Some people have their shticks and routines planned out.” Winners will receive custom-made trophies made out of railroad spikes. The Best in Show trophy will be especially sought after, with railroad spikes molded in the shape of a beard and weighing near 20 pounds.

Don’t think you’re up to compete? There’s plenty of other activities for beards and beard lovers alike. Thompson says “there will be a photographer set up taking people’s portraits, and a little later we’re bringing in a caricature artist.” The price of admission lets you choose either to be a competitor or just sit back and enjoy the hairiness.

There are also a few other events separate from the main competition. Before the main event, the official Beard League welcome party will be hosted at Station2, located at 2016 East Main St. Before the main event on Saturday, there will be a special edition Beard Championship beer release at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. There will be plenty of food and drinks to go around. Also, there will be a hangover brunch on Sunday at On the ROX, if the championship wasn’t enough facial hair for you.

While the Beard League is a facial hair club, they are also a community organization with a mission. According to the official Beard League Facebook page, they aim for “community service, charitable fundraising, & camaraderie.” Event coordinator Jimmy Thompson says “100% of the proceeds of this event are going to Safe Harbor, [a shelter] for battered and sexually abused people.” In addition to this, there will be a volunteer event on Saturday for the SPCA to help take care of homeless dogs, giving them some love and attention.

So, if spending your weekend hanging out with a bunch of hairy people for charity sounds like a good time, definitely don’t miss The Mid-Atlantic Beard Championships. Check out their official website for links and more information about this weekend’s events.

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

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