Get ready for the mane event!
A group of hirsute heroes will display their most extravagant facial hair at the Ninth Annual Coney Island Beard and Moustache Competition on Sept. 3, going head-to-head for respect, fame, and the Beard and Moustache Fez trophy. The competition will be fierce, but one judge says he will know when he has found the golden locks.
“Looking for that wow factor — it’s hard to put your finger on exactly what that is but when you see it you just say ‘Wow, that’s a great beard,’ ” said Al Kavadlo, who sports his own 8-inch beard. “There’s length, style, thickness — but an intangible quality — the ‘X Factor’ if you will, when I see a beard that makes me go ‘Wow, that’s a bad-ass beard!’ ”
The competition’s nine categories include “The Brass Ring” for best in show, “Coney Island Curl” for best-styled ’stache, “Hokum and Hoodwinked” for best fake facial hair, and the much-coveted “Carny Trash” for worst in show. Those who use minimal wax will partake in the “Man or Beast” competition for best natural beard, or the “Moustachio Marvel” for best natural nose neighbor.
Kavadlo’s own 8-incher is all-natural, and he appreciates the uninhibited look — but he respects the more wild styles as well, he said.
“I have a pretty long beard myself, not styled — no wax or anything, just natural and that’s the style I tend to gravitate toward. But some of those crazy waxy ones are cool too, for a novelty. I like the creative element that some of these guys bring to it — showmanship as well,” said Kavadlo. “I’m going to try to do my best to be a fair and good judge.”
Kavadlo and his brother Danny — who will also be judging — will entertain the audience between rounds with their strongman routine, in which they use each other as weights and show off their manliness, he said.
One “Man or Beast” competitor hopes his fourth time will be a charm.
“I feel great shame for never having medaled, but it is what it is,” said Bay Ridgite Ronnie Parisell. “I hope I have what it takes this year but we will see.”
Parisella takes great pride in his long whiskers and all-natural style, though his grooming regimen requires a bit of effort — and just a dab of wax, he said.
“No crazy product, no crazy styling, just what God gave you — a little bit of wax on the side so it doesn’t fly all over the place,” said Parisella. “I brush as soon as I wake up, to get the knots out. And usually just a little water, a little product, and I carry a beard pick, so over the course of the day I brush it, pick it. But don’t go too crazy with additional product.”
Parisella says he wants to win the hairy competition, but he won’t tear his hair out if he comes up short.
“I’m always hopeful, but let’s see what the competition brings,” he said. “It’s Brooklyn, it’s spreading love. I love it.”
“Ninth Annual Coney Island Beard and Moustache Competition” at Sideshows by the Seashore [1208 Surf Ave. at W. 12th St in Coney Island, www.coney
©2016 Community News Group
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