Bellefontaine Examiner

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Fair’s first beard contest draws large crowd

More than 60 contestants and a tent full of people turned out for the Logan County Fair’s first beard and mustache contest Friday evening.

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Mason Stanley, 7, of Bellefontaine, right, and other contestants in the Born and Raised youth beard contest wait to show off their fake beards prior to Friday evening’s Blue Ribbon Beard and Moustache Contest hosted by the Bellefontaine Body Bearders. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | REUBEN MEES)

Hosted by the local beard club, the Bellefontaine Body Bearders, the event drew not only local club members, but members of other clubs from Mercer County, Dayton and other locations in Ohio, as well as several proud beard-wearing residents of Logan and surrounding counties.

“I was browsing through the booths and they told me about this and it sounded like a good time,” Ed Jennings of Bellefontaine said, noting he has worn a tidy beard for about the past decade. “It was pretty interesting and I saw a lot of neat facial hair.”

“I was at the (merchant’s) tent and one of the guys told me to come check it out and I did,” said Daniel Szippl, a 26-year-old Ada man who has been growing a beard since eighth-grade. “I came to watch the races, but it’s awesome to see all the different styles of beards.”

Contestants competed in eight different categories with fair-themed names like Born and Raised for the youngsters, Bearded Lady for women’s fake beard categories or the Lion Tamer for full beards.

Lindsay Stinner of Dayton’s Gem City Gentlemen of the Gilded Beard club said she has competed in numerous competitions, but this is the first one at a fair. She won the Most Fantastic Bearded Lady contest with a fair-themed beard called Down the Clown, a game booth the three judges threw bean bags to try to take down pop-up clowns.

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Lindsay Stinner of Dayton's Gem City Gentlemenn of the Gilded Beard club won the Most Fantastic Bearded Lady with a beard called Down the Clown.

Judge Nate Stevens, also of the Gem City club, said he was impressed with the turnout for an outdoor event.

“It was a great turnout and there were some really great beards,” he said noting he previously judged a fair-style competition at New Lebanon’s Stagecoach Days. “Normally they do these things indoors because of the humidity and wind.”

“I think they did a good job and everybody seemed to have a good time,” Ms. Stinner said. “It was a good turnout for a Friday at 5 o’clock.”

After some concern about lack of interest in the contest earlier this week, Brian Wall, chairman of the local club, said he was pleased with the turnout and the event may become an annual one at the fair.

“I didn’t know how well it would be taken, but the later we got in the week, more spirit came about,” he said, noting that after the club’s booth and presence were well-received at last year’s fair, a competition sounded like a good way to give back.

“We had such a successful time at the fair last year and such support. And this exemplifies what we will be doing at the Holland in November.”

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Bellefontaine Body Bearders member & Iraqi War veteran Ryan Lilard. Three judges (from the left) Thomas Maurice Smith, Nate Stevens & Matt Bischoff.

The Bellefontaine Body Bearders will host the second annual local event at the Holland Theater on Saturday, Nov. 9.

Money raised through a 50/50 drawing and a prize raffle will be donated to the Junior Fair Board, Mr. Wall said.

Winners of the contest were:

Born and Raised youth: 1. Kanon Bischoff; 2. Mason Stanley; 3. Hayden Hites. Realistic Bearded Lady: 1. Courtney Fuller-Sandlin; 2. Micki Martin. Most Fantastic Bearded Lady: 1. Lindsay Stidder; 2. Kaleigh Chamberlain. Grandstand partial beard: 1. Doug Schell; 2. Zakk Smith; 3. Ryan Lillard. Ringmaster mustache: 1. Reese Barger; 2. Matthew Harris; 3. Albert Dennis. Fair Go’er business class beard: 1. Curtis Gressner; 2. Josh Cummings; 3. Adrian Jenkins. Lion Tamer full beard:  1. Dustin Hill; 2. Jeramy Fitzpatrick; 3. Cliff Wall. Acrobatic styled beard: 1. Sam Wall; 2. Jeffrey “Patch” Feldman; 3. Joey Lawson.

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