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A hairy situation at the County Fair

Dan Engell, the emcee for the Beard and Mustache contest at the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede, asked Matt “Man the Maniac” Hays, 6, of Seabeck a question about his nickname during the contest Saturday. Matt won first place in the novice category.  - Photo by Jesse Beals
Dan Engell, the emcee for the Beard and Mustache contest at the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede, asked Matt “Man the Maniac” Hays, 6, of Seabeck a question about his nickname during the contest Saturday. Matt won first place in the novice category.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Ten years later, moustaches, chin beards and full beards of all shapes, sizes and colors continue to take to the family stage at the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede.

The 10th annual Whisker Club Beard and Moustache Competition was Saturday at the Fair. About 25-30 competitors took to the stage to show off their flawless facial hair.

Bald and facial hairless emcee Dan Engell announced the hour-and-a-half-long event. A panel of seven judges scored each contestant on a scale of 1-10.

The first Whisker Club Beard and Moustache Competition was at the Cloverleaf Tavern in Bremerton 10 years ago. The event moved to the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede the following year. Whisker Club President Bruce Roe attended his first beard and moustache contest in Norway and decided to bring the competition to Kitsap County.

“I went overseas to my first beard and moustache contest in Norway, saw what a great time they were having and decided to do it here,” he said.

The Whisker Club formed in 1998 and club members attend competitions worldwide. The most recent world championship was in Berlin. Roe and fellow Whisker Club member Jeff Well took home third place in their respective categories.

Aside from attending worldwide events, the Whisker Club raises money for the Children’s Hospital, United Way, Catholic Community Services and Women in Need (WIN).

“So we have some fun and benefit the community as well,” Roe said.

During Saturday’s competition, five men, both rookie and returning competitors, showed off their English, Imperial or Dali moustaches in the moustache category. Jim Ross, a fourth-year Beard and Moustache competitor, took home the No. 1 spot in the category.

Robert Martin won the Full Beard category and Tyler Campbell took top honors in Chin Beard. Ross, Martin and Campbell vied for the Best in Show award, with Campbell’s Musketeer coming out on top. Campbell won the chin beard category and Best in Show at last year’s competition.

Category winners won trophies and gift certificates to local restaurants. Campbell, the Best in Show winner, also won a wristwatch from Chrey’s Fine Jewelry in Bremerton.

Roe was pleased with the turnout and was impressed with the number of returning competitors at this year’s event.

“We’re getting more and more returners, people who know we’re doing it and wouldn’t miss it,” he said with a smile.

Children had the opportunity to create their own facial hair and compete in the novice category during Saturday’s competition. They created beards, moustaches and sideburns out of construction paper and earned blue ribbons for participating in the contest. Matt Hays, 6, of Seabeck, nicknamed “Matt Man the Maniac,” donned a cowboy hat and sunglasses to complete his look. His black moustache and sideburns won over the judges and put him in the No. 1 spot in the novice class. Campbell’s son, Isaac, was the youngest competitor of the afternoon. With a little help from dad, the diaper-clad infant won third place in the novice category.

Roe currently serves as the president of the World Beard and Moustache Association (WBMA). He plans to relinquish the role at this year’s world championship on Sept. 1 in Brighton, England.

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