The Minnesota Beards-Off is a competition that takes place in one night and brings together the best beards in the state. The event begins at 8pm and is normally held in the month of March.
The event is hosted at the Sauce Spirits and Sound bar at the intersection of Lyndale and Lake in Minneapolis. The competition not only attracts men but ladies too who wear fake beards as well.
It isnít a dress-up fashion show business but a purely a beards affair voting for the best of the best.
Beards come in different shapes and styles and these are some of the factors considered during the evaluation of the Minnesota Beards man of the year. The organizers believe that well kept beards are a demonstration of masculinity, kindness and warmth. They focus on ensuring that beards are not misconstrued as a passive rebellion to the authorities that are, but a symbol of the human story of evolution.
The competition has four categories, the Full Beard category that entails having sideburns, a moustache, and facial hair covering the chin area. The Partial Beard category focuses on one of the facial hair areas which are, sideburns, mutton chops, goatee, chin strap and any other facial hair areas that are beard formations. The moustache category is only for the moustache itself and the Freestyle category attracts the artificial beards that some men and women wear. The best part is itís free for all categories.
The whole process of selecting the best beards consist of five rounds. The first four rounds are for each of the categories, where the top three contenders are picked, and then those proceed to battle for the top spot in each of the categories. It is the top spot winners who proceed to the final round where the best contender is picked and crowned as the Minnesota Beard man of the year. The competition has three judges drawn from across the state who have a passion for beards.
The three judges strive to make the event as competitive as possible by coming up with distinct judging criterion which they believe will be met to crown the beards man of the year. Dustin Black is one the judges, he is a native Nebraskan who moved to the state of Minnesota a decade ago. Heís the brain behind thebeardly.com website, a creation that celebrates beards as a manís greatest achievement. He is an author and an Associate Creative Director who also likes searching for creative commons-licensed beard photos. His judging criteria includes; length of beard, density of beard, age of the contestant, the story behind the beard, style of beard, and the general masculine attributes of the beard itself.
Jon Friedman is another one of the judges whose pride for his beards heritage runs back to his teen days when he started spotting facial hair. At the age of nineteen, he made his debut at the World Beards and Moustache championship in England and was the youngest of all the contenders. He has since taken into promoting the spirit of wearing beards in Minnesota. His criteria of judging the best beards entails the masculinity of the beard, the general grooming, subjectivity criterion and in the freestyle category, he replaces masculinity with creativity and imagination.
Courtney McLean is the third judge who is also an actress, a thespian, a writer, storyteller and a member of the Minneapolis premiere naughtybilly band. Her criteria of crowning the best beards includes the fullness and length of the beard, grooming of the beard Ö bonus points for spectacularly dyed beards, the kiss-ability of the beard, balance with the hair, if the beard enhances ones style, the impression given by the facial hair and the relevance of the beard.
All these criterion put into play, crown the Minnesota Beards man of the year.
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