It was literally a hairy situation this past Saturday, Sept. 8 as hundreds gathered in Coney Island for the 11th annual beard and mustache competition.
Dozens of follically gifted men and women showed off their unique facial hair while competing to win prizes for their incredible achievements.
“This is my third year participating in this event,” said actress Allison Hope. “I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I have some rich roots in Coney Island. My great uncle was a barker on the Boardwalk during the early part of the 19th century.”
Hope explained how she first came to the event three years ago when friends of hers were competing in it.
“They said there was a fake beard competition so I made a homemade beard with wool and I put lights in it,” she recalled. “And this year I’m wearing fake hair.”
The contest was presented by Coney Island USA and co-hosted by Adam RealMan, Handsome Dick Manitoba and a panel of hirsute celebrity judges who voted on the best whiskers in a number of categories. Winners were awarded with the coveted Coney Island Fez and other prizes.
Andrew Kloss took first place in the natural beard category. Although Kloss has lived in New Jersey for 33 years, this was his first time in New York.
“I just came for this beard competition,” Kloss told this paper. “I’ve been growing my beard for three years and it’s probably about 16 or 17 inches from my bottom lip.”
He also offered some useful tips for maintaining his whimsical whiskers. “I treat it like you would head hair. I just use Head and Shoulders and then I use some conditioner and beard oil.”
Christian Fattorusso came in full costume as a western saloon bartender, with his infant son dressed up as an outlaw.
“This is my fourth year participating,” Fattorusso said. “I like to wear costumes when I participate and that’s what I’m known for. My baby was part of my costume. I wanted him to be a part of something I love to do.”
First place in the best styled moustache category went to dapper Steve Brooks, dressed as a southern gentleman. Another notable contestant, Eddie Kimmerling, rocked a mustache that took him years to grow and would have made Salvador Dali jealous.
So for those so inclined, it’s never too soon to start sculpting, styling and grooming for next year’s beard and mustache contest.