Facial hair aficionados from around the globe will descend on Auckland for the World Beard and Moustache Championships in 2021.
The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial competition in which some of the most outrageous, and highly styled facial hair on the planet is on display.
The Fellowship of the Beard NZ President and regular competitor, Ygnacio Cervio worked with Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) – part of Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development – and Tourism New Zealand to secure the event for Auckland.
Cervio has just placed sixth in the world in the 'full beard with styled moustache' category at the championships held recently in Austin.
"The Fellowship of the Beard started as a one-man-dream and became a community that not only encourages and supports the growing, styling and grooming of facial hair but also helps charity organisations in NZ," he says.
"We've wanted to host the world champs here for some time, and we know some competitors will be travelling a fair distance to compete, so want to make their stay unique. Our wish is for all of them to have a great time, meet old friends, make new ones and take home the best memories from our vibrant city."
The two-day competition will include the 16 traditional categories of judgement in The World Beard and Moustache Championships, plus a 'Whiskerina' category for women to enter, and 'Crowd Favourite', where attendees will choose the winner.
Organisers are planning to entertain the crowds with live music, a diverse range of local and international food, as well as delicious regional wines and crafted beers. There will be portrait photographers on site, and space for vendors to promote their products.
Head of ACB Anna Hayward says: "while this bid was a bit hairier than most, it's another great example of how Auckland's vibrancy and appeal as a destination is making us stand out from other cities to secure exciting and interesting international events like this one.
"We look forward to welcoming the bearded community to our beautiful city in 2021. New Zealand has quite a lively beard and moustache culture and there are plenty of places around Auckland where hair enthusiasts taking part in the competition will feel at home when they visit.
"With a worldwide reputation for superior hospitality, the Auckland experience is one that will endure in the memories of these competitors for many years to come."
For a taste of what's to come in 2021, The Fellowship of the Beard NZ is hosting this year's national competition on Friday, 27 October at the Kings Arms Tavern in Auckland from 7pm. It's a charitable event with this year's profits going to Lifeline Aotearoa and The Barter Barber.