Whiskers take spotlight in Folsom during annual beard contest

By: Eyragon Eidam, Telegraph Correspondent
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FOLSOM, CA - Contestants from as far away as Portland, Ore., made the journey to Folsom’s historic Sutter Street to compete in the second Northern California Mustache and Beard Contest hosted by the Mustache and Beard Social Club.

The Powerhouse Pub, an already popular venue for the social scene in Folsom, was standing room only as contestants hit the stage to flaunt their furry faces and period-appropriate costumes.

Contestants strutted their stuff in 13 categories ranging from the Natural Mustache category to Full Beards Over One Foot category as a panel of four judges looked on rating each competitor for styling, density, as well as their showmanship and flair.

Dave Green, one of four judges at this year’s contest, says that judging goes far beyond how full or how well-groomed a beard or mustache is.

“It’s got to look good on their face,” said Green, while puffing on his tobacco pipe during intermission. “Some guys just aren’t meant to have beards.”

Justin Vorhauer, vice-president of the Mustache and Beard Social Club and a teacher at a local middle school, hit the stage as Zeus with a large, curling freestyle beard and lightning bolt.

Vorhauer called the event a great opportunity to appreciate facial hair while doing some good for the community.

“We like reaching out to the community and helping out,” said Vorhauer of the $1,000 donation that will be made to the Folsom Zoo from raffle ticket sales and admissions. “We are very thankful for the companies and individuals that donated to help it be a success.”

For others, the contest was simply a chance to show off years of patience and hard work.

Joseph Haydostiam, a competitor from Fresno, in the Full Beard Under One Foot category, donned a robe, staff, and crown of thorns for his interpretation of Jesus Christ – a costume choice which gained him much acclaim with the enthusiastic audience.

“The people and the atmosphere are great,” said Haydostiam of the contest. “You just can’t beat it.”

Clinton Henneke, a Portland, Ore., resident, made the nearly 700-mile drive to Folsom with 14 others in an RV just to compete in this year’s contest.

“We just love supporting beards and bearding,” said Henneke, when asked why they made the long trip.

But this contest wasn’t just for men. Even the ladies got a chance to show off their “whiskers” in the Whiskerina category of the contest by dawning seaweed, feathers, and even photo collage beards.

For the female supporters in the audience, like Tarrah Hale, the competition was a chance to check out all of the manly beards and the manly men that came with them.

“I love beards! I would love to just crawl in one and make a home,” said Hale of the facial hair on parade.

As for next year, Vorhauer says that the Mustache and Beard Social Club will be seeking a larger venue because of the increasing interest in the event.

“The Powerhouse has been good to us, but we will have to expand the venue for next year,” said Vorhauer.

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