Facial hair celebration coming to Portland

Portland Daily Sun Article: Published  Thursday, 20 March 2014 21:44.  Written by Craig Lyons.  Original article here: http://www.portlanddailysun.me/index.php/newsx/local-news/11690-facial-hair-celebration-coming-to-portland

Portland will soon get its chance to celebrate mustaches, beards and all things hirsute.
The first Facial Hair Fest starts next week in Portland, and is an extension of the Stache Pag, which started in 2008. Festival organizer Zeke Callanan said the popularity of the Stache Pag made the group think it was time to make the festival bigger and celebrate all types of facial hair.3-21-14-FestPoster-700x1081-web
“People basically just wanted more,” he said.
Now, the Facial Hair Festival has events during the day, family friendly activities, music, film and the ever-popular Stache Pag.
“We wanted to really capture the audience for a longer period of time,” Callanan said.
A big addition this year is expanding the festival beyond mustaches.
The beard lobby was pretty aggressive, Callanan said, and he’s always looking to make the event more inclusive. He said the Maine Facial Hair Club got more involved this year. The pageants have categories for traditional mustaches and beards.
The five-day event kicks off Wednesday, March 26 and runs through the weekend.
“There’s really something for everyone,” Callanan said.
The festival’s inaugural event is Wednesday with “Stache of the Titans” at Empire (a play on the popular cover-band contest, “Clash of the Titans”), and an opening reception at the same venue on Thursday, where attendees will get to preview shorts from the International Mustache Film Festival.
The film festival will have programming running from March 27 to March 30 at the Portland Museum of Art.
On Saturday, the Facial Hair Farmers Market will be held at Ocean Gateway in concert with the Can/Am Beard and Mustache Competition.
“That’s going to be a really fun event,” he said.
Callanan said there’s going to be more than 25 vendors, food, drinks, games, arcade games and more during the afternoon.
“It’s just going to be a cornucopia of good fun,” Callanan said.
Bringing up the tail end of the Saturday lineup is the Stache Pag, which starts at 7 p.m., and contestants will vie to be the winner in the categories of the Magnum PI, the 1899 Maine Legislature, the Thigh Tickler and the Castaway. The contest will be judged by local celebrities, including rapper Spose and fellow recording artist and musician Spencer Albee.
The weekend will wrap up with a final day of film screenings
“It’s all about fun,” Callanan said, and that’s why people keep coming back every year and the event keeps growing.
Callanan said contestants are still being sought for the competitions, and if someone has even the most remote level of facial hair, they should sign up. He said the contestants always have a great time.
As the Facial Hair Fest nears, Callanan said people should think about getting tickets in advance, especially for the Stache Pag on Saturday night.
“It has sold out the last two years,” he said.
More information on Facial Hair Fest is available at facialhairfest.com.