SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When the world shifted to working from home last year, more people began growing beards.
Beards, or facial hair in general, have become very trendy, even sparking competition.
The 2021 South Dakota Beard Clash, just like the beards themselves, keeps growing.
“I’ve been growing this for about five years,” Erik Valland said
Valland is a member of the Falls Facial Hair Foundation, a non-profit that helps raise money for local charities.
For the past six years, he’s been helping organize the South Dakota Beard Clash.
“I went to my first competition in Omaha about five years ago and saw how much fun we had down there, so we came back here and started doing those here and it went from a little baby goatee to a little bit longer goatee now to a full beard,” Valland said.
The South Dakota Beard Clash, which is held every year at Bottoms Up in Corson, is one of the largest in the nation where people compete in several categories like business, which is four inches or less; to full beard, which is 12 inches or longer.
The Beard Clash is not just for men, believe it or not, they have categories for both women and children.
“Women make their beards out of everything from food items to wires to facial hair to other hair and they get on stage to compete against other women who are just as creative,” President of Falls Facial Hair Foundation Nickie Nguyen said.
This year the Beard Clash is raising money for Horsepower, the non-profit that provides therapy for people with disabilities.
“We use horses to do that because horses are kind of this great equalizer they put everybody on the same level and gives us this way to relate to one another even though we’re not necessarily on the same playing field,” Horsepower Executive Director Margaret Doom said.
And neither are those who grow beards, so throw away your razors and let it grow.
The Beard Clash will be Saturday July 24th. If you’d like to participate, click here for more information.