The scene at the Second Annual Southeastern Beard & Moustache Championships (SEBMCs) was one without equal, as throngs of beard and
moustache aficionados packed James Island’s Pour House on Feb. 19 for a celebration of all things facial hair. The Pour House literally rolled out the red carpet for the event, which featured competitors from across the country. The event was an overwhelming success, as not only was a good time had by all, the event also raised over $5,100 to support Center for Women program Lowcountry Women with Wings, which provides education and support services to women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, their caregivers, and families.
The popularity of the event was massive. Crowds at the Pour House were lined up at the door long before the show began, and the demand to attend Saturday’s competition was such that the venue experienced possibly its first ever pre-10 p.m. sell-out. Though space inside was hard to come by, those who braved the line and the crowd were treated to a rare evening of entertainment. The annual SEBMC event is put on by the Holy City Beard and Moustache Society (HCBMS), which since its 2007 inception, has hosted monthly pub nights and other events in support of local charities.
HCBMS Commander and official “Master of Beard-a-monies” Paul Roof kicked the evening off by reciting the official toast of the HCBMS, “Ode to the HCBMS.” With the obligatory toast complete, Roof introduced the judges. Dr. Lisa Irvin, Head of Nursing at Roper St. Francis hospital, Chris “Boston” Dimattia, owner of downtown hotspot The Recovery Room, and Sarah Spravero, a stylist with Avondale Point favorite Lava Salon judged the championships.
Dr. Irvin’s membership was apt, as Roper St. Francis was the principal sponsor of the event, along with Piggly Wiggly, and a host of others. The SEBMCs officially kicked off after Roof had thanked and acknowledged the many people and organizations that had contributed to the event. The championships featured a total of ten categories, with contestants in each category taking turns addressing the crowd and showing off their wares. Winners were declared in the first five categories, sideburns, corporate beard, college beard, gray beard and goatee, followed by a brief intermission.
Award winners in the moustache, freestyle, ladies artificial, gnarliest beard, and full beard categories were then determined. The evening concluded with live music from local favorites Flatt City and Guilt Ridden Troubadour. The conclusion of the awards ceremonies, however, didn’t mean the scores of facial hair-touting masses called it a night.
Mutton chops, Fu Manchus, handlebars, and soul patches, and the men (and women) sporting them, milked the opportunity to be in like company, most of them parting ways only after the closing bell of last call was rung by Pour House staff.