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Corvallis resident Josh Goben began growing out his beard because he hated shaving.

But it turns out keeping a massive beard is a whole thing. Goben uses special beard shampoos, conditioners, balms and oils to maintain his facial hair.

“A lot of people think it’s very rugged and grizzly, but actually it’s more work than no beard,” he said.

Goben was one of about a dozen men to participate in the new beard and mustache contest held during Saturday’s Septembeerfest in Corvallis’ Avery Park.

Goben said he was just planning to attend the event when he heard about the contest and decided to enter because it sounded fun.

Goben added that having a full beard is worth the work because he gets lots of compliments for it.

“It’s just a huge confidence boost,” he said.

Jane Childers, who spends summers in Corvallis, said she organized similar competitions in Washington and decided to organize a beard competition at the beer festival because it was a way to get involved in the community.

“It’s something everybody has fun with,” she said.

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She said she and her husband have friends who compete in international beard contests.

“We’re kind of groupies. We’ve been to a lot of international places following our friends,” she said.

Childers said some of the impetus to follow friends to beard competitions is just an excuse to travel, but she added that beard competitions are also just a fun thing to be around.

She added she wants to raise awareness about the competition for next year’s Septembeerfest so more people can participate.

“I think it will be bigger next year,” she said.

The 12th annual Septembeefest event, the showcase of Corvallis Beer Week, included 76 varieties of beer, cider and mead from 29 independent breweries, as well as live music and more.

Septembeerfest benefits the Linn-Benton Food Share, Heartland Humane Society and the Heart of the Valley Homebrewers’ Endowment at Oregon State University supporting scholarships in fermentation science.

Since 2006, the Heart of the Valley Homebrewers, a nonprofit organization, has donated more than $200,000 to support a number of local charities and organizations.

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Anthony Rimel covers education and crime in Benton County and weekend events across the Mid-Valley. He can be reached at anthony.rimel@lee.net or 541-812-6091.

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