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Stiff Whiskers, Self Expression And Charity: What A Beard Competition Is All About

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Emily Schwing
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Northwest News Network
A competitor in this year's Epic Beard Competition gets his whiskers looked over by one of the judges.

Americans are taking in the outcome of a hard-fought battle for the White House and there’s no argument the race was fierce. That was also the case at an entirely different kind of contest in Spokane last weekend, where the only thing stiffer than the competition were the whiskers.

The 5th Annual Epic Beard Competition was held in Spokane last weekend. More than 100 competitors from as far as Virginia and Alaska came to take part.

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Credit Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network
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Northwest News Network

Competitors like Portland’s Taylor McKibben, second from left, displayed their styled mustaches and beards for the judges during the competition. McKibben's even featured tiny dinosaurs woven into his whiskers.

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Credit Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network
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Northwest News Network

Competition winner and fellow Portlander Stewart Van Rys has had his mustache for about 15 years. But after about a decade, he decided to quit trimming it. "It’s fun for just a different look, he said. "If this wasn’t there, you wouldn’t know who I am.”

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Credit Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network
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Northwest News Network

Boise's Bert Martin competed in the ‘Natural Beard, styled stache' category. He said it took about 40 minutes to style his mustache. Martin called it the “Double-stache.” 

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Credit Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network
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Northwest News Network

Doug, a competitor from Spokane, who didn’t give his lat name, said kids always question if he really is Santa. When they argue that it’s not Christmas, he said he answers “Well, somebody’s gotta pay for the reindeer food!"

The group raised more than $23,000 for charity during the event.