East Wawanosh beard-growing competition begins - Jan. 5, 2017
BY DENNY SCOTT
The East Wawanosh 150th celebration, like the municipality’s 100th and 125th celebrations before it, will feature a beard-growing competition that kicked off on Dec. 31 with committee member and North Huron Reeve Neil Vincent shaving down to his facial follicles.
The contest requires registrants to shave their beards this month and apply. It features several different classes under which contestants may be able to win.
“When people apply, they don’t have to apply under a certain class,” Vincent explained in an interview with The Citizen. “The judges will decide who goes where.”
The classes are the longest full beard, best trimmed beard, best goatee, best ornate mustache, scruffiest beard and most naturally colourful beard.
The competition runs until June 30, when the beards will be judged as part of the kick-off event for the 150th celebration.
Vincent explained the idea for the competition came from Bill Taylor, an East Wawanosh resident, who was part of the competitions at the 125th and 100th anniversaries and said he wanted to be a part of it once again.
Since he doesn’t want a head start, Vincent said entrants can enter with a close trim throughout the rest of the month, as long as they apply by Jan. 31. He also said concessions can be made for people who don’t want to shave off their mustache but will grow a beard for the competition.
“They won’t be able to win for their mustaches, but there are some people out there who are attached to them,” he said.
The rules are that the facial hair being judged must be trimmed close before the end of the month and entrants need to pay the $10 fee. Competitors do not need to be residents of East Wawanosh.
Each member of the competition will receive a 2017 Beard Growing Contest Award including a nameplate and be eligible for one of the first ($50) or second ($25) place anniversary vouchers in the six categories. The vouchers can be spent on memorabilia including apparel or souvenirs or be used to pay for participation in the anniversary events.
New Year’s Eve marked the fifth time in 30 years Vincent has shaven off his facial hair, the last time being approximately five years ago as part of the Cops for Cancer fundraiser, and his wife Joan, also part of the 150th committee, said she’ll be glad when his beard comes back.
“When we first started dating he would grow it in the winter and then shave it off in the spring,” she said. “I didn’t like that transition, so he started keeping it.”
Vincent said he made sure that, during one of the earlier events that required him to shave, he had his daughter Margaret at the event, saying there are stories about people’s children not recognizing them without the beard.
For Vincent, the beard is a time-saver as, with the commitments he has had as a politician, he would often need to shave twice a day instead of just washing the beard along with his hair. It was also an identifying factor for Vincent as, in his youth, he was known as the brown-haired man with the red beard.
To enter, or for more information, contact Vincent at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-357-2336.