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The Hirsute Moustache and Beard Grower Society

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The Daily Camera

Bonanza a fairly hairy affair
Beard and moustache competition coming to Boulder
By Kate Larsen, Camera Staff Writer
February 17, 2006

photo: Cliff Grassmick

Jackson Farnsworth, left, and Aaron Johnson are organizing a moustache and beard contest Feb. 24 at Burnt Toast restaurant in Boulder.

It's time to muscle up that moustache and buff up the beard — a facial-hair contest is coming to Boulder.

The inaugural Weird Beard Bonanza and Moustache Roundup is next week, and it's a chance for facial-hair enthusiasts to put their best handlebar forward and compete. The group behind it, the Hirsute Moustache and Beard Growers Society, is wild for whiskers and a general good time.

"We're trying to celebrate people who use their facial hair as another tool for expressing individuality," said society founder and musician Aaron Johnson, also known as Ukulele Loki.

The 28-year-old started growing his moustache in earnest about six years ago. It has evolved from a pencil-thin lip accessory to a waxed-up handlebar.

"I've always been very interested in history and fashion, and I think men always get shortchanged," Johnson said. "I try to use hats and pipes and my moustache as accessories."

Facial hair has deep roots in popular culture.

In ancient times, it was associated with virtue. During the Reformation in England, men and priests used their beards to make statements against the church. While beards and moustaches went out of style in the Western world by the 17th century, they had returned to prominence by the Civil War. And since the 1960s, unruly facial manes often have been associated with counter-culture.

Johnson said he's just trying to have some fun with his own hair.

While searching for moustache-waxing tips online, he discovered the World Beard and Moustache Championships. He was inspired.
"I thought, 'These guys are having a lot of fun,'" he said.

He started the local society last summer. There are 14 members so far. Johnson said he hopes next week's event, which includes live music and prizes, will attractmore members.

Jen Blake is the group's only woman.

"I can't grow one, but I can put a moustache on for special occasions," Blake said.

She'll sport her fake whiskers for the competition and will act as judge.

Society member Jackson Farnsworth grew his bushy beard in memory of a goodfriend who died last year. Life with a beard has been interesting, he said.

"In this day and age, it's really hard to be memorable; it's just kind of the nature of our mass society," Farnsworth said. "It's nice to have a way to differentiate myself."

Contact Camera Staff Writer Kate Larsen at (303) 473-1361 or


WHAT • Humbugs Weird Beard Bonanza and Moustache Roundup
WHEN • 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24
WHERE • Burnt Toast restaurant, 1235 Pennsylvania Ave., Boulder
COST • Free


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The Boulder Weekly

[Buzz Briefs]

For the Love of Tom Selleck!

February 23, 2006

By Vince Darcangelo

It was a typical day on the Hill: Just three dudes standing on the corner, complimenting each other on their moustaches--and no, it wasn't an amateur porn star convention. It was the beginning of the HIrsute Moustache and Beard Growers Socity (HuMBuGS), a group dedicated to celebrating unique facial hair founded by local musician, entertainer and radio personality, Ukulele Loki.

Five of six years ago, when I'd wear just a moustachre, people would look at me like, "What are you doing? No," say Loki. "Then two or three years ago people started wearing moustahces, but it was funny, like, 'Look at your porn star moustache. That's so gross.' All of a sudden, this year, it's almost cool. I'm seeing fashion magazine guys and movie stars and indie hipsters wearing moustaches."

On Friday, Feb 24, the HuMBuGS will host the first-ever Weird Beard Bonanza and Moustache Roundup at Burnt Toast restaurant on the Hill. The event will feature live music by Ukulele Loki and the Gadabouts and a DJ set by Uncle Jeff Holland. Prizes will be awarded to local conestants with the most unusual and outlandish facial hair. You can size up the competition at

This bewhiskered ball is not solely the domain of men, however. The ladies also get to join in the fancy facial hair fandango--and not just the bearded, sideshow variety.

"We're encouraging people who don't have facial hair, especially women, to wear fake moustaches and play with it just to make it a theatrical and goofy event," says Loki.

Rollie Fingers would approve.





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The Daily Camera
(front page story)

Beard Bonanza a Big Hit
Dozens show off their'staches
By Vanessa Miller, Camera Staff Writer
February 25, 2006

Photo Jamie Haverkamp

Pat Ryan and his wife, Tracy Ryan, came to the Weird Beard Bonanza on Friday to show off his 20-year collection of moustache clippings.

Tracy Ryan has a special signal to alert her husband of food in his 'stache.

Steve Steiner's beard has gotten caught in car windows.

Justyn Forestal has to wear a "beard net" to keep his 7-inch goatee out of the peanut butter he works with at his factory job.

Despite the inconveniences, all three are big fans of facial hair. They were among more than 50 people who gathered Friday night for the first-ever "Weird Beard Bonanza and Moustache Roundup."

"We're gonna need a bigger venue," said Aaron Johnson, 28, as more and more participants — exhibiting uniquely trimmed facial hair — entered Burnt Toast restaurant on University Hill.
Johnson, also known as Ukulele Loki, organized Friday's event and the club behind it: the Hirsute Moustache and Beard Growers Society. He said his club has about 14 members, and he expects that number to grow after Friday night. Eventually, Johnson plans to hold a Moustache and Beard Championship in town.

But on Friday it was all about honoring the art of facial hair, discussing different trimming tactics and sharing styling products. Certificates and prizes from sponsoring Hill businesses were given to many participants, including Illegal Pete's hats and shaving cream from Al's Barber Shop.
Pat Ryan, 50, was just excited to show off the 20-some years of moustache clippings he's saved and framed.

"I identify with it," Ryan said of the curled moustache he's had since he was 18.

"And she wouldn't let me cut it off," he said, motioning to his wife.

"I don't know what he'd look like without it," Tracy Ryan said.
Forestal, 26, of Boulder, doesn't have any plans to cut his goatee either, although he couldn't explain why he keeps it. He works for the Boulder-based peanut butter factory Justin's Nut Butter and has to tie up the hair with a rubber band before donning a beard net. So why not shave?

"It's like breaking up with your girlfriend, I guess," he said.
Steve Steiner, 60, of Boulder, came to the bonanza after recently resurrecting the beard he was so proud of during the 1960s.

"In the hippie days, I just let it grow. It was almost at my waist," said Steiner, whose full, white beard gives him somewhat of a Santa effect. "Back then, you were known by the length of your hair."

Guys weren't the only ones showing off moustaches Friday. Yuka Takeda, 23, taped on a Fu Manchu to support Johnson, her boyfriend.

"I like his face hair," she said, while trying to move her whiskers to take a bite of dinner. "But sometimes it bothers me."

Photo Jamie Haverkamp

Aaron Johnson, founder of the Hirsute Moustache and Beard Growers Society, thanks attendees of Boulder's first Weird Beard Bonanza and Moustache Roundup at Burnt Toast Restaurant Friday.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Vanessa Miller at (303) 473-1329 or




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