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Jim Taylor, on-site co-ordinator for the Caribou Carnival, says the race is on for participants in the beard growing contest to show Yellowknife what beard growing is all about. - Dorothy Westerman/NNSL photo

Furry faces unite!

Dorothy Westerman
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Mar 02/05) - Yellowknife soon will be home to the great bearded one. Many, in fact, after the Caribou Carnival's beard growing contest gets going.

Jim Taylor, on-site co-ordinator of the carnival, said he thought of the contest after visiting the Canadian Forces Northern Area office, where officers have permission to grow beards as long as they are not outside Yellowknife.

"For men, especially the military guys, the chance to not have to shave every morning is tempting," Taylor said of the enthusiasm to enter the contest.

The official registration was last week at the Black Knight pub and Taylor said almost 20 clean-shaven gentlemen signed up for the challenge.

One of the men wanting to enter had had his beard for 18 years, he said.

The contest will be judged during the upcoming Caribou Carnival, March 25-27.

"We will have prize categories including the longest, bushiest, artistic and wimpiest," Taylor said of the types of beards he expects to encounter as the contest grows to a conclusion.

Bushy beard growers will be checked on to see how those beards are growing throughout the contest, he added.

"It's going to be a fun thing," Taylor said.

This year is the carnival's 50th anniversary and a variety of activities to interest everyone are sure to keep the crowds busy, he said.

"And I even agreed that on the day of judging, I will get clean shaven as well," said Taylor, who has kept a beard for about 20 years.