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Noticed more facial hair around Lynden lately?

Today marks the 125th anniversary of Lynden’s official incorporation on March 16th, 1891 — and every 25 years since the men of Lynden have undertaken a beard growing challenge. For this year’s contest, around 40 men grew out their beards and mustaches over a 42-day period, culminating in a judging session this past Saturday at the Inn at Lynden.

Mayor Scott Korthuis has his beard examined by judges and Lynden Chamber director Gary Vis
Mayor Scott Korthuis has his beard examined by judges and Lynden Chamber director Gary Vis

Categories include ‘Overall Grand Champion’, ‘Best Heritage Hair’ (for those who did not start with a clean shave) and ‘Best Clean Shave’ (for those who did).

A newspaper clipping from the 1991 beard growing contest, 25 years ago.
A newspaper clipping from the 1991 beard growing contest, 25 years ago, was on display at this year’s contest.

Careful judging makes for a fun old-time tradition

Participants were judged by Rose DeGroot (owner of Fairway Cafe) and Cliff Fast (long-time barber from Cliff’s Shear Design on the corner of 9th & Front Streets). Speaking of the judging process, Lynden 125 committee chair Karen Kildall said “They had a tough job — the competition was really, really tight. But, in the end, they were able to choose our winners.”

Beard Contest Judge Rose DeGroot takes notes in between participants.
Beard Contest Judge Rose DeGroot takes notes in between participants.
Judge Cliff Fast takes notes on a beard growing contestant.
Judge Cliff Fast takes notes on a beard growing contestant.

Drum roll please… and the winners are:

Overall Grand Champion: Les Molenaar

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Overall Grand Champion: Les Molenaar

Best Fresh Shave: Scott Vandenberg

Best Fresh Shave
Best Fresh Shave: Scott Vandenberg

Best Heritage Beard: Don Assink

Best Heritage Beard: Don Assink
Best Heritage Beard: Don Assink

Careful and competitive observers may consider wearing a black top hat at the next competition, 25 years from now in 2041.

Facial Hair Certificate

Grand Champion Les Molenaar is himself a long-time Lynden barber, who cut hair at Les’s Style Barber Shop downtown on Front Street for many years. All participants received a certificate in official recognition of their commitment to Great Facial Hair, and a participant button. Here’s a gallery of those who attended Saturday’s judging event (some were out of town and are not pictured):

Thank you to Alexandra Ann Photography for documenting the event with the photos used in this article!

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