A battle of the beards at Cosmic Charlie’s



By Luke Glaser

Things got a little hairy at Cosmic Charlie’s Tuesday night.

Kaitlyne Motl, a student teaching assistant in sociology, said it was for a pretty good reason.

“I love all three things that were advertised,” she said. “Whiskers, whiskey, and burlesque.”

Cosmic Charlie’s played host to its first “Whiskers and Whiskey: Facial Hair Contest,” and the goatees, chinstraps and handlebar mustaches were out in full.

“It’s a beard and mustache competition,” said Gary Faulkner, sporting a full beard and “Rollie Fingers” mustache. “People are coming in from three or four states away.”

Faulkner, who hails from Cincinnati, is a member of Beard Team Ohio, a national powerhouse in the beard competition scene.

“It’s a fun hobby,” he said. “You meet a lot of different people from all over.”

Contestants ranged from the veterans, like Faulkner, to the first-timers, such as Beard Team Ohio teammate James Elliot.

“I just like the scene. The whole beard and mustache scene,” Elliot said. “It’s great to meet everybody.”

Elliot was accompanied by his fiancée, Trisha Casnellie, who “came to see all the beards.”

Casnellie said that kissing Elliot with his facial hair wasn’t too much of an issue. “You don’t really notice it,” she said.

Faulkner and Elliot agreed that, while kissing may not be an issue, eating certainly is.

“Eating pizza or anything in a bowl gets messy,” Faulkner said. “As long as I have my mustache up, I’m OK.”

Isaac Benson, “beard-in-chief” of the event, was excited to host his first tournament.

A member of the Nomadic Beardsmen of Lexington, Ky., Benson was most excited about having fun. “I don’t want to necessarily focus on the competition,” he said.

That said, competition was prevalent among the bearded contestants.

Beard and mustache competitions have been going on for nearly 10 years, but it was the reality TV show “Whisker Wars” that sparked the organization, Benson said.

Competitions now occur all over the country and world, from a national competition in Las Vegas to an international competition in Germany.

This competition featured nine categories, including “full beard — groomed” and “freestyle.”

Contestants in each category got to go on stage to make the case for their facial hair, followed by a unique style of judging.

“I’m very enthused about the petting zoo,” Motl said.

The “petting zoo” consists of all contestants standing onstage as judges, other participants and members of the crowd play with the beards.

Winners will receive plaques and certificates from the hosting club, as well as gift cards from local shops and restaurants.

Included in the nine categories is female facial hair, which Motl entered with what she called a “ladystache.”

“I’m here to see a lovely competition,” she said.

Benson was equally excited about the competition and camaraderie.

“It’s meeting all the people that come here,” he said. “I want everyone to have a good time.”