Beard and Braids

It was a perfect September Saturday in Hemlock Michigan for our annual festival, Hemlock Sawdust Days. Following a hometown parade down main street that looked like a scene in a modern Norman Rockwell painting, festival-goers migrated to the Richland Township Park to be greeted by vendors, a classic car show, silent auction, entertainment, and more.

At the entertainment tent, the festival hosted the 7th annual Beard and Braid contest. Which continues to grow each year. The 2021 contest hailed sponsorships from Detroit Grooming, Sampson Hair Care, Adore Salon, and Hemlock Public School District.

Event organizer, Dr. Katherine Ellison said “This was a great competition! We had a lot of really excellent beards and I think that made it fun for the participants, judges, and the audience.”

This year there were over a dozen competitors all competing in 4 categories:  best lumberjill braids, most lumberjack-like beard, most unique beard, and overall winner for best braids or beard. There was a bag full of bounty for the winners and 2nd place for each category. The field of competitors was littered with national-level competition hailing a first and second-place national competitor and others.

 Master of Ceremony and beard aficionado, Dr. Don Killingbeck Jr. said, “The Hemlock Sawdust Days Beard and Braid contest is always a highlight with so many great people coming out to compete.”  

The winner of each category is as follows:

Grand Master for 2021 is the one and only, Ed Haake. Not only does he have a major beard, but he also has a super cool name. 

·         Lumber Jack: 1st place, Mark Brynes and 2nd place Austin Taylor

·         Unique: 1st place, Ian Samlow and 2nd place Jim Dammon

·         Braids: 1st place, Brooke Scott and 2nd place, Scott Venema II

Next year Sawdust Days will take place from Friday, September 16th through Sunday, September 18th with the Beard and Braids competition on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at the entertainment tent. Start growing your beards and braids now. 

For more information about this or other positive happenings visit our website at or follow us on Facebook.