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In every major city, there’s a small—but growing—sector of the population that is obsessed with facial hair. The Denver residents among that group may now commence their celebration: the 2016 Great American Beard and Moustache Championship is coming to the Mile High City this weekend.
With more than 21 total categories and seven judges, the four-day festival at Summit Music Hall benefits Fisher House Foundation—which provides free housing for veterans receiving medical treatment—and Rocky Mountain Cancer Assistance. Although the actual competition takes place on Saturday, the weekend is chock-full of events for the bearded and the clean-shaven alike, including a Thursday night bar crawl, Friday evening welcome party, and Sunday brunch.
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The competition’s seven judges each hail from a different region of the U.S and —to be sure—are well versed in beard-ology. To get to them, you have to pass under the trained eyes of four pre-judges, all of whom have been top-three finalists at the World Beard and Moustache Championships at least once since 2013.
Categories include a six varieties of full beards, seven types of partial beards, six subsets of moustaches, and two artistic categories for materials resembling facial hair. Just like in the Olympics (an event of comparable competitive magnitude) illicit substances will be monitored—meaning there are tight rules governing what materials can be used for beard and moustache artistry, as well as length and location of facial hair. Because even muttonchops will be taken seriously.
The competition begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at Summit Music Hall, and tickets are $30 for participants and $15 for spectators.