World Beard contest to grow in different direction

Organizers of the World Beard and Moustache Contest expected to be held Nov. 1 in Carson City as part of the Nevada Day festivities shaved off their plans this week.

Phil Olsen said he withdrew the contest after agreements failed with the Nevada Day committee about financing the event, promotion and location.

"They're no longer willing to support the event financially and yet still want to profit," Olsen said. "It's been a very frustrating thing."

He said the beard and moustache contest will still take place on Nov. 1 either in Carson City or, more likely, in Reno. To date, 85 participants have signed up from Germany and more from other parts of Europe. Many participants are expected from all over the United States, he said.

The contestants are still expecting to march in the Nevada Day parade.

Nevada Day Inc. president Ron Bowman said Olsen may have had bigger expectations from the small and meagerly funded Nevada Day committee than could be provided.

"He just expected that we would be able to do more for him than we were able to," Bowman said. "No hard feelings on our side. We wish him the best, and we're sorry it's not going to happen here."

Bowman expects the committee will find another event for the Nov. 1 activities following the parade.

The beard and moustache contest was tentatively scheduled for the Brewery Arts Center following the parade, but Olsen said the building wouldn't be large enough to hold the expected 200 attendees. Plans were to charge up to $25 for admission, but previous Nevada Day president Virginia Nuzum said it was doubtful if anyone in Carson would pay that much for a beard contest.

"(Olsen) felt that there would be thousands of people coming to see this," Nuzum said. "Everyone's used to 'free' after the parade on Nevada Day, and we tried to tell him maybe locals would pay $5 to get in if you gave them a beer for free."

The committee has a limited budget and could not provide the requested financial help for the contest, Bowman said.

Also, Olsen said he was expecting this year's Nevada Day theme to be "Beards" with a contest participant named as the grand marshal.

The committee instead chose the theme "Salute to our Veterans," Bowman said.


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