Beard contest to be part of centennial

Come the New Year, the men of Fort Frances are being encouraged to put away that razor in the name of the town’s centennial year.
“We’re encouraging all the men of Fort Frances to start growing those beards as long and as fluffy as you can,” centennial co-ordinator Marla Simpson told council during its regular meeting this week.
She noted it was “a big hit” back in 1967 when a similar contest was held in conjunction with Canada’s centennial, adding the participation back then was the inspiration to try it again in 2003.
“We have a lot of [newspaper] clippings from that time showing how popular it was,” remarked Simpson.
What’s more, the contest will help make the town’s population look a little more like they might have 100 years ago. “We hope people will grow styles from different decades, the long sideburns, things like that,” Simpson said.
Oh, for those beard-growing guys with a significant other who’s not in favour of the facial fur, don’t worry, the contest only lasts until April 11, 2003—the actual date of the town’s centennial—at which they’ll be judged by local hairstylists and barbers.
And for those who want to be exempt from the contest, they’re encouraged to buy a “license” to shave—keepsake buttons they can wear around town, said Simpson.
Council agreed they would participate, with the only exception that Darryl Allan, manager of Administration and Finance, shave his beard so he didn’t start with an unfair advantage.
Simpson and Pam Hawley, chair of the town’s centennial committee, also rhymed off a list of other events for council—proof they’ve been keeping busy organizing the celebration.
Among these are soliciting essays, poems, and artwork from local schools, putting together a history book due out in April, a centennial calendar by the year’s end, centennial coins, souvenir T-shirts, and a postcard campaign.
A recreation of the inaugural town council meeting (complete with authentic dress) is slated April 11, with a centennial ball planned for April 12 co-organized with the Fort Frances Library.
More events will be held in conjunction with Fun in the Sun.
To add to a display at the museum, the Township of Alberton recently agreed to turn over a collection of town council minutes from 1891-1898—a period when the Village of Fort Frances was part of Alberton.
While this was supposed to be presented to Hawley and Simpson at Monday night’s council meeting, an Alberton delegate did not show up.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the centennial committee, or a related event, can contact Simpson or Hawley at 274-7891.