Anthony Middendorf’s Facebook photo on June 14 of his long hair and long beard drew some spirited remarks from family and friends.
“I would love to see your face Anthony and a neat hair cut. ... I know there’s a pretty face and smile behind all that hair!”
“I was never cute,” Middendorf responded.
“Stick to your guns Anthony! Once they get you in that barbershop chair you’re at their mercy brother! You could walk away looking like a skinned cat!”
“They will never get me in that chair.”
“Don’t let them trick you into going to a barber. You don’t need it and they would probably charge you double.”
Middendorf “liked” that comment.
Middendorf’s family is always giving him a hard time about his facial hair. That’s how he ended up entering the first-ever mustache and beard competition at the Kansas State Fair, which will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Nex-Tech Wireless Stage at Lake Talbott on the fairgrounds.
“My daughter sent me a post on Facebook saying I needed to enter it,” said Middendorf of Peck, a truck driver. “I’ve always wanted to try it.”
The Wichita Beard and Mustache Club has been hoping to get more people involved in facial-hair contests in the area, and the fair is helping to make that happen, said Andrew Bruso of the club. Contestants are encouraged to dress up to go with their facial hair, and each will have about 30 seconds on stage, Bruso said. At least one of them will be from Missouri in this first year for the contest. Winners will receive ribbons.
The categories are natural mustache with no styling; freestyle mustache (anything goes); partial beard, with a break somewhere in the beard, including mutton chops, goatee and whaler (no styling); full beard over 6 inches (no styling); full beard under 6 inches (no styling); full beard freestyle; ladies’ fake facial hair (use whatever materials you like); and best in show (costume and stage presence helpful).
The competition has room for 10 contestants in each category, and a few of the categories still may have room for entries on competition day: natural mustache, mustache freestyle, fake facial hair, partial beard and full beard freestyle. Entrants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis at noon Saturday at the Nex-Tech stage, Bruso said. You can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie Schamle is a Hutchinson native who thought “bucket list” when she heard about the fair competition’s category for women’s fake facial hair.
“I’m like, heck yes, this’ll be fun,” Schamle said.
“It sounds silly, but I dress up,” she said. “I have a ‘Star Wars’ outfit.”
Halloween is her favorite holiday.
“One year I went as a trucker with the handle-bar mustache, so I’m thinking about bringing that one back,” she said. Schamle may draw a beard and mustache on her face with black lipstick or eye makeup, but one thing makes her pause. “Then I’ll be walking around the fair.”
Middendorf is entered in the partial-beard category.
“I’ve always liked the mountain-man look with the long hair and long beard. That’s what I was achieving to get.
“The beard I have right now is about 6 years old. Six years ago on Father’s Day, I shaved it off and started over again. I just let it go. I shave the sides, so it’s like a big goatee, but it’s really bushy. I don’t trim it.”
The category that drew the most entrants is that of beard shorter than 6 inches. “That is a huge category anywhere you go,” Bruso said. “To me, what stands out the most is how thick the beard is. It’s not necessarily about length. Length is always a bonus.”
For more information about the competition, see the Facebook page for the event or call the fair at 620-669-3600.
If You Go
Mustache and beard contest
What: A first-year fair event looking for the area’s best facial hair
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Nex-Tech Wireless Stage at Lake Talbott on the fairgrounds, Hutchinson