By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Beards, mustaches up for judging

News-Register file photo
Also today at Turkey Rama -- barbecued turkey will be served up in Wortman Park and downtown at the Presbyterian Church. Don t miss the World s Largest Turkey Barbecue.

Men — and women, too — can show off their facial hair at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at Third and Cowls streets. There’s no fee to enter.

Up for grabs are the Turkey Rama Beard King title and the official Beard Belt, said Zach Geary, the contest’s hirsute emcee.

Men will be judged in several categories: Longest beard, best beard, best mustache, best Tom Selleck-style mustache, best wizardly Gandalf beard and most pathetic Joe Dirt beard.

Women can enter the Frida category, named in honor of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, whose “Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” shows a distinct mustache.

Geary pointed out that women entering the Turkey Rama contest can compete with either real or fake facial hair. Male entrants, however, are limited to the home-grown variety.

Geary, who works as director of marketing and research for green builder Cellar Ridge, has taken to calling himself the “bearded steward for the MDA.” He said he’s excited that a competition finally will recognize the joys and subtleties of facial hair.

“Having a beard is as easy as not shaving,” Geary said. “But to get a good beard, you really have to take care of it.”

The contest also may clear up some misconceptions.

“People are always asking, but really, a beard is not hot at all,” he said. “It seems to have its own natural air flow.”

Geary will show off his beard as he emcees the Turkey Rama contest. Contestants will be judged by a panel of people who are experts in the art of beards and mustaches, although they’re not necessarily hairy themselves — Sylla McClellan of Third Street Books, Jen Feero of La Bella Casa, Matt Deppe of McMinnville Water & Light and Ossie Bladine of the News-Register.

In additon to the Beard Belt, the MDA will be handing out prizes such as mustache waxes and beard balms, courtesy of Man’s Face Stuff of Portland. For more information, call the MDA at 503-472-3605.

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