Although things have been quiet around here on the blog I’ve been making good use of my back injury induced swimming downtime by prepping for my pro bearding debut! For those of you unaware, bearding is an internationally competitive sport… it’s pretty serious business! It even has its own reality show on IFC right now (Whisker Wars).

I decided to test the mettle of my adventure beard at the Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival’s Wiskerino Contest, the most prestigious of its kind here on the central coast. It’s also the only one on the central coast, but we’ll ignore that part for right now :) I found out about the contest at Klondike Pizza down in the Village (our old timey downtown area). I was walking out and noticed a poster with a mustache on it. I stopped dead in my tracks… I was so in!

I spent Saturday morning preparing for beard battle and was excited to go compete. I had brushed out the beard into a flying V formation, so basically you were getting two beards for the price of one. To round it out I tossed on some ladies sunglasses, a mustachioed t-shirt from my buddy Too Much Metal Fred’s website, a sport coat, and some demure leopard spotted furry shoes. This is as fancily dressed as I ever get :)

Around 1pm I went down to the Village in search of the Rotary Bandstand with my whiskerina and lovely assistant Jamie in tow. We cruised the festival in search of where we were supposed to check in and had no luck. We could find the bandstand but not anywhere to say “yes, hi, my beard is fantastic give me prizes.” Ultimately we just posted up on the side of the stage watching the ongoing performances and waiting to see what would happen from there. A fellow bearder spotted me and came over to inquire as to whether I was there for the same reason. We hung out and chatted for a while until the lady from the Hair Saloon and Spa that was running the contest came and found us. We were both fair sized gentlemen with substantial beards so she was pretty confident that we were who she was in search of. She let us know that the dance group on stage right now was running late and we’d be up there as soon as it was over.

As the dancers took their bows she hustled up on stage and started to call us all up there. All told there were 8 or 9 of us up there representing various categories from full beard stubble, various goatees, and adventure beards. Typically a contest like this would be broken and judged in different divisions but since there were only so many of us they went with an overall vote by applause sort of thing… the pressure was building… would I crack or emerge victorious? Only time would tell…

She worked her way from one end of the stage to the other having us introduce ourselves and where we were from. As an Arroyo Grande resident and AG High grad I was hoping to work the home field advantage. When she got to me I got a fair amount of applause and flashed my mustache t-shirt to amplify the effects of my actual facial hair… I think this maneuver helped put me over the top. I was feeling good about my prospects but a little concerned about the guy with the same beard as his shi-tzu. We made one more round through the guys gathering applause and somehow I was the clear winner! Holy crap! I never win anything… I guess I might as well win a small town overall beard championship… this is going on my resume and business cards: Rob Dumouchel – Beard Champion :{D>

So what kind of riches does a pro bearder walk away with from such a prestigious competition? Free pizza my friends, free pizza. Also the ability to tell friends and family members who doubted the greatness of my beard that they don’t know what they’re talking about, I’m a damn champion. I feel vindicated in my facial hair pursuits.

I’ve since become a member of Beard Team USA and am waiting for the sponsorship deals to start rolling in. Now all that is left to do is keep growing and prepare for next year’s beard battle in the Rotary Bandstand! I’ve got about 5-6 inches of beard this year and I’m hoping to crack 8 by next fall :)

One Response to “AG Harvest Festival Wiskerino Contest Wrap Up”

  1. [...] Club. I haven’t been able to find my way into another bearding event since I went to the Wiskerino Contest at the Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival in 2011 so I was stoked at the prospect of a new competition nearby. This competition at the Central [...]