Beards: They Grow on You

This week I attended a bunch of different Festival Du Voyageur events. While I had fun at all of them, one of the events was a cut above the rest. The 34th Beard Growing Contest kicked off at 8pm Friday at the Voyageur Trading Post (Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain). The event promised live music, food, Caribou (a drink made of wine, whiskey, and maple syrup), and men with beards. What more could a girl ask for?

Now, I have to admit that I’ve been living my life (foolishly) believing there was only one type of beard. I was very wrong indeed. The contest included four categories: clean shaven, wild and woolly, novelty, and an open category.

The event was entertaining, and there was even a close shave where contestants had to be called back on stage for a tiebreaker.

Below you can find some of the photos I had a chance to take during the event.


“This is my second year judging the competiton. It’s always a ton of fun,” said Cody Gabrielson, 30. Gabrielson said he came in second in the novelty category a few years ago when he styled his beard into a bird shaped candy dish./ HAILEY GAJADHAR


Dan Campbell (number 6), 24, was convinced by friend Oleska Balko (number 14), 26, to enter the clean shaven category of the competition. This was Balko’s second year competing./HAILEY GAJADHAR


Ladies line up to watch the clean shaven category being judged at the Beard Growing Contest./HAILEY GAJADHAR


Anthony Domienik, 33, said he used a curling iron and lots of hairspray to get his beard looking its best for the novelty category of the competition./HAILEY GAJADHAR


The top winners of the novelty category were announced after a tiebreaker was conducted onstage to determine third place. Anthony Domienik (middle) won first place, and Derek Lahey (far right) was the winner of the tiebreaker./HAILEY GAJADHAR


Oleska Balko, 26, and brother Stefan Balko, 25, cheer on the women competing in the open category of the competition. Oleska Balko took third place in the clean shaven category./HAILEY GAJADHAR




2 thoughts on “Beards: They Grow on You

    • Hailey Gajadhar says:

      It’s no Beards R Us, but it does the trick. Can’t wait to go to Beard-ival du Voya-beard again next year to cheer you on in the Wild and Woolly category!

      Liked by 1 person

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