by Emily Binetti
As Huntsville, TX celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the General Sam Houston Folk Festival, kicking off thisFriday, May 12, guests will have a chance to witness many of the unique facial hairstyles often inspired from the past as members of the Austin Facial Hair Club join the festival for the first time to host a beard contest on Saturday at 4 PM. A variety of categories in The Beard Competition will provide opportunities for almost anyone to participate including The Trapper (Best Full Beard), The General Sam Houston (Best Sideburns), The Mark Twain (Best Moustache), and The Bearded Lady (Best Fake Ladies Beard).
The Austin Facial Hair Club is no stranger to competitive beard growing. Nelson formed the group in 2007 to become an official chapter in Beard Team USA. Two years later, they participated in the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Anchorage, Alaska. The group went on to gain national notoriety in 2011 when the cable TV network channel, IFC launched “Whisker Wars” a reality TV show following members of the Austin Facial Hair Club, including Nelson, as they entered bearding contests all over the country in order to prepare for the world championships in Norway.
The organization enjoys traveling the country hosting small community competitions, like the one coming to the Folk Festival, but these days they have also been busy preparing for the big one – the mother of all competitions – The 2017 World Beard and Moustache Championships, coming to Austin, Texas in September. Projected to be the largest competition to date, the three-day event hosted by the Austin Facial Hair Club, will attract beard enthusiasts from around the world including more than 1,000 international competitors and thousands of fans. Proceeds from the event will benefit Livestrong, OutYouth and Farmers Assisting Returning Military.
Taking place during the Folk Festival on Saturday, May 13 at 4 PM, the General Sam Houston Beard Competition is open to all men and women attending the festival. Those interested in participating are encouraged to stop by the Austin Facial Hair Club booth at the festival to sign-up prior to the contest. For more information on the organization, visit their website at austinfacialhairclub.com.