Virginia City leads Nevada Day beard contest

It was just by the hair of the chin that Virginia City claimed the "most bearded community" award at Saturday's annual beard contest.

Virginia City was in dead heat with Carson City with 22 bearded contestants each, when a mounted police officer stepped down from his horse, throwing the victory to Virginia City with 23 beards.

Supreme Court Justice William Maupin not only judged the contest but participated in it.

"I've done it every year since I've been on the Supreme Court," he said. "It's a lot of fun and I have a beard."

Beards of all sizes and colors are admired and rewarded at the annual beard contest staged on the steps of the Capitol after the Nevada Day parade.

With contests ranging from best-groomed beard to scruffiest beard and from the fullest beard to the longest beard and reddest beard to blackest beard, there's a category for all facial-hair cultivators.

"The beard is something that is the last-of-the-West type of thing," said bearded participant Benjamin Blinn. "All these men showed up today to be legends in their spare time."

And they had a good time doing it.

"There was a lot of laughter and fun jesting," Blinn said.

R.T. Carlyle the founder of the mock gunfighters Gunslingers and Saloon Girls in Virginia City said he plans to participate in the contest for years to come.

"As long as they do it and as long as I have a beard, I'm going to be in it," Carlyle said.


"It's a tradition," he broke into song and dance from "Fiddler on the Roof."

Other judges were Justices Miriam Shearing and Nancy Becker and the contest is put on by Charlie Portia.

Beard contest winners were:

Longest beard: Hippie John

Fullest beard: John Hunt

Whitest beard: Bob Williams

Blackest beard: Henry Jones

Best salt-and-pepper beard: Gary Gehrm

Most bearded community: Storey County


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