From hipsters to lumberjacks and seemingly everyone in between, we all love a good beard. And this summer's Beard Festival near Toronto is the perfect place to show off your furry face, with beard competitions, hot-dog eating contests, booze, live music, axe-throwing and more! So, if you think your scruff has got the stuff, then you simply have to participate in Brooks Farms Beard Festival in Mt. Albert this month.
Brooks Farms is just over an hour outside of Toronto, but with so much to do at the festival, it's totally worth the drive.
This is the first year the event has been held and proceeds are headed to a good cause, farm owner Kelly Brooks tells Narcity.
"Some proceeds of the event (are) going towards men's mental health, which is a very important topic in the farming community," Brooks explains. "Primarily because farmers work 24/7.
"There is no shut-off, no end of the day. It's very difficult to get a work/life balance because a farmer consumes everything. Farmers also depend on their crops as income and the weather has such an impact on a successful year. Weather is the key element we can't control.
"There are so many challenges with farming and stress that does not stop. There's a lot of mental illness in our family so we are always challenged to stay healthy, physically and mentally. This topic hits close to home, having lost farming friends through suicide and stress."
Beards will be judged in a number of categories that have not yet been determined, Brooks continues.
While you'll need to have a furry face to compete in the beard competition, anyone is welcome to attend the event and participate in the long list of alternative activities.
Axe throwing and hotdog eating contests will take place on both Saturday and Sunday along with the beard competition. Competitors in all three events will have the chance to win farm memberships and treats.
"(We are) hoping some vendors donate prizes as well," Brooks says.
If competition isn't for you, don't worry! The epic two-day festival will also feature a beer tent, live music, delicious BBQ food, vendor village, a corn roast, a blacksmith demo, birds of prey, and a crazy chainsaw woodcarving demo! There will even be a dunk tank on-site if you're feeling brave.
Brooks is expecting a large crowd for this brand new event. "Our hope would be 1,500 (people) per day, but we've had up to 4,000 for other popular events," Brooks explains. "This is the first year so it'll likely take some time to grow."
The festival is set for August 24 and 25, rain or shine, according to Brooks. Daily admission will cost $15, or you can purchase a weekend pass for $25. Parking is available at no extra cost. While outside food and drink are not prohibited at the event, there is a small picnic area located outside of the admission gates where you could stop and snack.
Brooks Farms: Beard Festival
Location: Brooks Farms Mt. Albert
Why you need to go: You can show off your epic beard, scarf down delicious hot-dogs, toss axes, and so much more! The best part? You can do all that while supporting a great cause - promoting men's mental health awareness!