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Bearded Man festival returns to Shippensburg's Thought Lot

SHIPPENSBURG >> Bragging rights are on the line with the return of the Bearding Man Music Festival & Facial Hair Competition Sept. 5 at The Thought Lot, 37 E. Garfield St.

The facial haired — and those with love for facial hair — will gather to once again separate the fur from the fuzz.

Bearding Man founder, Jason Stauffer, explained the inspiration behind the event.

"For me it's about building meaningful relationships with meaningful people. From the vendors to the bands to the beards, it takes a special person to pursue anything interesting or out of the ordinary. If you're doing something interesting, it's worth having fun with it."

Competitors will duel for the best mustache, partial beard, full beard, freestyle beard, fake beard, spicy ginger beard (red beard), and wizard beard (gray/white beard). In addition, families can compete together with their real and fake facial hair in the new "heritage beard" category. There will be trophies for all top competitors.

Notable locals, and not-so-locals, judging the event include Ed Gotwalt of Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum, Orrtanna; Bob Treat of Red Beard Ink; Chad Roberts, president of the RVA Beard League; Meaghan Cool, fake-beard champion of the Oak City Beard & Mustache Assembly; and Timothy Thorne, president of the Reading Beard & Mustache Club.

The lineup of music for the evening includes The Positronic Cats, The Littlest Birds and The Gospel Whiskey Runners.

Profits from this year's event will be given to Bless the Children Home, an orphanage in Guyana, South America. "There are a lot of good causes to give to," said Stauffer, "but I always prefer giving to people I know, and I've known the family that runs Bless the Children since elementary school."

Don't go away hungry! You'll be able to buy evening noshes from Bernard's Jamaican Jerk Chicken and The Falafel Shack, both of Chambersburg; and Cabin On King and Denim Coffee Company, Shippensburg.

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