Boise & Garden City

Beards bust into Boise for competition

Adam Ramsey, left, of Boise, and Brian Paxton, of Tri-Cities, Washington, participated in the inaugural City of Beards contest Saturday.
Adam Ramsey, left, of Boise, and Brian Paxton, of Tri-Cities, Washington, participated in the inaugural City of Beards contest Saturday.

Whiskers-wearers from across the West — including the Treasure Valley, Salt Lake City and Portland — celebrated Boise’s inaugural City of Beards contest Saturday.

The contest included categories for best “business stache,” best “full beard freestyle” and best “whiskerina” for women who created their own beards.

Paul Carew, co-founder of Wear Boise, a Boise-themed retail company, launched the yearly event to inspire camaraderie, he said. Boise has had beard competitions, but Carew said he wanted to start running an annual contest that brought bearded folk from across the country to the Treasure Valley.

“One of the things we wanted to do is one that celebrates Boise,” he said. “We wanted to make sure we started one that was a yearly event. That way we had something that was already on the calendar.”

Darin Hanson, who rolls with the Salty Saints Social Club and Facial Hair Society, based in Salt Lake, said these contests were more about community than who had the best beard.

“It’s just a really great experience. It's a very common vibe where everyone's just having a lot of fun,” he said.

“People might have different religious views or political views, but here everyone's together.”

The events also function to destigmatize people with facial hair, said Robert Hollerman, vice president of the Boise Beardsmen.

“I think it's great that you can have all these men that are typically known as scary because you got these big scary beards and we're doing something good. We're doing something good for the community,” he said.

The entry fee for beard competitors was $25 and proceeds went to the No-Shave November and Camp Rainbow Gold charities.

Erin Fenner: 208-377-6207, @erinfenner

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