Switzerland’s Alpine Beard Festival

This might not be blog-worthy, because I could barely find any information about it, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write about the Alpine Beard Festival in Switzerland. Especially because this will be the festival’s 25th anniversary.

The Alpine Beard Festival will take place this weekend as part of the popular Chur Festival. Chur is an old city of about 30,000 located in the Swiss Alps, about 75 miles from Zurich.

It’s surprisingly hard to find English-language information about the Alpine Beard Festival (though I did find these entertaining Flickr photos from Alpine Beard Festivals in years past). The best I could do was have Google translate the beard festival page for me, and the results are mostly nonsensical. On the bright side, the summary does end with the nicely succinct sentence: “Invited are all bearded.”

From what I can tell, about 60 men compete in the contest. The judges decide based on just a single category (unlike some other international beard contests), selecting the men with the most rugged and beautiful alpine beards. Participants come from many parts of Europe, and prizes are awarded to the best of the best beards (I think to the top ten).

As for the overall Chur Festival, it's a huge event that draws about 100,000 visitors every year. The festival features food stalls, musical performances, and of course, beards. And it is now on the list of things I have to experience before I die.

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Photo: myswitzerland.com

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