Oil City publicity
Here is a recent article appearing in the Derrick (thederrick.com)about the upcoming Pennsylvania championships organized by BTUSA's own Dave Grams and the Western Pennsylvania Beard Alliance.
Oil City can claim a new distinction next month when the Pennsylvania State Championship Beard and Mustache competition is held during the community's Halloween celebration.
The contest is set from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, during the annual Pumkin Bumkin festival in Justus Park.
"They have these contests elsewhere in the U.S. and I thought Pennsylvania needed one. And since I'm in charge, as president and founder of the Western Pennsylvania Beard and Moustache Alliance, I said, 'let's have it here'," said Dave Grams of Oil City.
Grams, 21, attends Clarion University where he is majoring in elementary education and special education.
He sports a 16-inch curly, auburn-colored beard, a facial quirk that he intends to keep uncut until he and his brother, Nathan, and a few buddies trek up to Alaska next May for the world beard championship judging.
Grams' foray into the facial hair world began in an unlikely scenario.
"I went to Venango Christian (high school) and we weren't allowed to have beards. I have a heavy beard so sometimes I had to shave twice a day. Once I graduated, I said 'enough' and quit shaving. It's been a year and a half so far," Grams said.
There is a misconception that beard-wearers are "lazy" because people think they simply don't want to shave, Grams said.
"I spend so much time every morning shampooing, conditioning, brushing and combing my beard. It takes me 10 times the amount of time it took me to shave so it's a lot harder," he said.
The state beard and mustache championship in Oil City is open to anyone, said the organizer. There will be categories for full beard, mustache, goatee and partial beard. Judges will be local beauticians and barbers. There's one more category, too, Grams said, and it is designed as a "fun event."
"It's a fake category. We want women and kids to enter, too, by making their own beards or mustaches. They can't buy them - they have to be home-made," Grams said.
No trophies or cash prizes will be featured in the state championship, one that has drawn interest from beard aficionados representing "Beard" magazine, a beard-related Web site and chapters in other states.
"Basically, it's just a matter of honor - the winner will have 'the best' in either beard or mustache in the entire state. That's a neat thing in itself," Grams said.
More information on the contest is available by contacting Grams at 1-814-678-0011 or on his website at www.myspace.com/wpbma.