ANCHORAGE - Gentlemen, start growing your beards.
Anchorage has been awarded the 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships following a bid process and vote of its members, according to association president Bruce Roe of Bremerton, Wash.
"Anchorage certainly impressed everyone with a fantastic presentation," Roe said.
Liechtenstein, the only other competing bidder, withdrew after the presentations and supported Anchorage's bid.
The biannual event was held in the United States only once before, two years ago in Carson City, Nev.
Just last month, 243 contestants from 20 different countries competed in the WBMC, held in Berlin, Germany, and the host nation won the gold in 14 of the 17 categories.
The whimsical event is open to anyone willing to support his or her country by sporting a beard or moustache. The Southcentral Alaska Beard & Moustache Club will serve as Anchorage's host for the 2009 championships.
Competitors can choose from several different categories, including handlebar moustaches to those sporting the "Fu Manchu" style.
There's also categories for those preferring to grow goatees and other partial beards. And, of course, there's six different categories in the full beard category.
"It's a big honor," says David Traver, vice president of the Southcentral Alaska Beard & Moustache Club. "We've had a beard competition going on in Anchorage for about 54 years now, and we feel Anchorage is the perfect venue for this event."
For decades, Mr. Fur Face has been one of the highlights of the Miners and Trappers Ball during the winter Fur Rendezvous celebration.