From Kanye’s new beard (good!) to Brad Pitt’s thin mustache (hmmm), facial hair appears to be sprouting up all over the place these days. The 2009 NYC Beard and Moustache Championships honors those who’ve tossed their razors, offering a grand prize of $500 and winners in eight categories (including “Patchy Beard,” “Recession Beard,” and, so no one’s left out, “Ladies Artificial”). Matthew “BEARDZZZ” Saccoman, event organizer, attributes the facial-hair resurgence to our current financial state: “It’s actually a beard revolution that’s upon us. It’s the tough economic times sending us back to the days where getting in touch with our ancestors and freedom of expression is what really matters most.” Or maybe it’s because more women have discovered what some of us have known forever beards are hot. The evening also boasts comedy, burlesque, and, of course, a ZZ Top cover band. Judges include Phil Olsen, self-appointed captain of Beard Team USA; Chad Kagy, the BMX pro rider and X Games gold medalist; and lover of grizzly men everywhere yours truly!

Sat., March 14, 8 p.m., 2009

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