Thursday, January 27, 2011

Amana Colonies: The Meca of the Mustachioed

One of my favorite parts of Winterfest is the Best Beard contest. Every year men from all over come to Amana to show off their mutton chops, their fu Manchu or their ZZ top beards in order to claim the best beard. This year was no different with twenty-two men lining up to show off their beards for the judges.

 In previous years the judges have seen all sorts of facial hair, from the short and stubbly to the long and luscious. The contest has three categories contestants can compete in: fullest, most unique and best overall. Contestants are asked about their growing strategies, grooming practices and inspiration, which they proudly share with the judges. Judges have even been known to have a hands-on approach during the contest when selecting a winner. This year’s judges included Lalanya Bodenbender from Henry’s Village Market, Ron Heitmann, last year’s Overall Best Beard winner, and Winterfest Ice Princess Jackie McCall.

 This year the guys really seem to get into showing off their beards. They stroked and posed and even had cheering sections to sway the judges in their favor. It seemed to work for Don Alexander of West Amana, who won in the most unique category. Don had a cheering section with custom made t-shirts AND he drew beard extensions on his t-shirt, apparently impressing the judges. The other winners were Ted Schulte of Coralville for having the longest beard, Darrell Langan of Cedar Rapids got the honorable mention for having a thick and full beard and Dave Friedel of Des Moines won best over all.
If you are ever in Amana during Winterfest this is definitely the activity to check out. Not only are the contestants great, but with local radio personalities, Brain and Steele from Khak, emceeing the contest you will laugh a lot. If you love men in beards, this is the place to find them in Eastern Iowa.

Keeping warm in My Town: Amana Colonies

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