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It’s almost time to grow your Trappers’ beards!


The Northern Manitoba Trappers’ Festival hosts its Beerfest every year and during the Beerfest there are various fun contests involving body hair such as the Beard Growing Contest, Hairiest Legs, Shiniest Plate, Most Colourful Beard, Shaggiest Beard, Hairiest Chest and the Beard of the Year among others.
There are some requirements however for the Beard of the Year as that particular contest carries some regulations; the rules according to a release by the Northern Manitoba Trappers’ Festival are as follows:

1: Each contestant must represent a group in the community, from service clubs, volunteer committees, or fraternal organization.
2: Each of the contestants must be clean-shaved at the start of January 1, 2018.
3: The contestants will receive a pass to Beerfest which is set to take place February 18, 2018.
4: The contestants must be present at Beerfest by 2:30 p.m. on the day it takes place.
5: The decisions of the judges appointed by the Northern Manitoba Trappers’ Festival Board of Directors taking part in the contests are final.
6: All registrations of those taking part in Beard of the Year must be submitted by January 10, 2018, to the Chairperson of the Beard Growing Contest Sue Lambert.
“How it started when it started about 45 to 50 years ago -it was started in the 60s- they had to represent a community organization and they had to start the beard on (the) 1st of January. The different organizations would have a bunch of different members who would be represented; there was a lot of interest in it in those days. Those days it was only one or two contests, it wasn’t like now when there was a bunch of different contests,” said Lambert on the history of the Beard of the Year contest.
It’s a Trappers’ Festival tradition because it was a way for trappers to keep warm while out on the bush.
“When the trappers are out on the trap line in the bush, they do grow a beard because it keeps their faces warm when they’re out running dogs,” said Lambert.
Of the various Beard Growing Contests Lambert said her favorite one was the Tom Marion Memorial Trappers’ Beard.
“My personal favorite would be the Tom Marion Memorial Trappers’ Beard, because Tom Marion was an older gentleman who in my mind epitomized the trapper because he grew his beard every year and did it for Trappers’ Festival and it was a very nice beard; it was a warm beard, met all the requirements. After he passed away his children decided they would sponsor the Beard (Growing Contest) in his memory,” she said.

Trevor Wright