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Nevada Day: Comstock reclaims title of hairiest chins

BRIAN DUGGAN
bduggan@nevadaappeal.com

The capital city couldn’t keep its title as most bearded community after 54 of Virginia City’s hairiest beat out the 32 bearded Carsonites in Saturday’s Nevada Day beard contest.

The scene on the steps of the Capitol looked like a cross between the Old West and a ZZ Top convention as dozens of bearded men competed for titles such as the longest, reddest, blackest and best groomed beards.

Virginia City residents won five of the nine categories on Saturday. One Carson City man took home a first place prize for blackest beard while a Las Vegas resident won for the whitest beard.

Sporting a waterfall of a red beard that nearly reaches his waist, California resident and world beard champion Jack Passion came to Carson City on Saturday to compete against some of Nevada’s hairiest.

Passion, who took first place at the 2007 World Beard and Moustache Championships in Brighton, England, with his long, ginger beard, said Carson City’s contest marks the end of season for those on the beard competition circuit.

“I definitely have some competition,” Passion said. “Some of these guys have some gnarly beards … this is a physiological battle.”

While Passion took first place in the reddest beard competition, he came half an inch shy of winning the longest beard title, losing to fellow California resident Aarne Bielefeldt, whose gray beard measured 22 inches.

“Half and inch? I mean, there should have been a recount,” said Passion, who carries a brush for his beard. “So I’m going to come back next year and I’m going to win it crystal clear. Mark

my words.”

Nevada Supreme Court Justices Mark Gibbons and Ron Parraguirre judged the competition.

Robert Gonzalez of Virginia City said they lost the most bearded community contest last year because a friend had opened a new bar the night before – keeping many at home the next morning on Nevada Day.

“Well, last year, the Carson boys got us,” Gonzalez said. “We’re all friends, but we came back strong and moved together and made sure everybody had a ride.”

Charles Porchia, who has been running the contest for 15 years, said he is stepping down this year. Michael Luke and Norm Luke of Carson City will run the competition in 2010.

Whitest:

Jerry Young, Las Vegas

Ray Smith, Dayton

Wilson Donaldson, Virginia City

Salt and Pepper:

Rick Brotherton, Virginia City

Robert Gonzalez, Virginia City

Kevin Griffith, Sonoma, Calif.

Best Groomed:

Travis Stransky, Virginia City

Bob Whitemore, Virginia City

Mase Zimmerman, Denville, Calif.

Fullest:

Jack Kras, Virginia City

Hank Berry, Virginia City

Steve Shesler, Carson City

Reddest:

Jack Passion, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Brian Gala, Sparks

Bill Migan, Virginia City

Longest:

Aarne Bielefeldt, Willits, Calif.

Jack Passion, Walnut Creek, Calif

Keith Altlizer, Minden

Blackest:

Jasbir Singh Sandhu, Carson City

Kulwant S. Mandi, Carson City

Kewal Sekhon, Reno

Scruffiest:

“StinkE,” Virginia City

Henry James, Virginia City

Reid Slayden, Virginia City

Most Bearded Community:

Virginia City: 54

Carson City: 32

Washoe County: 2

Douglas County: 2

Elko: 1

Las Vegas: 1