Beards, Rivalry And Passion At The Ballarat Heritage Weekend

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Beards, Rivalry And Passion At The Ballarat Heritage Weekend

It was in 2014 following a few Sunday beers that Brayden Dorney and his fellow bearded mates came up with an idea that would change Ballarat forever.
“We decided that the comradery between bearded blokes is magic, and there needs to be a way to find more of it,” Brayden recalls. “It doesn’t matter where in Ballarat you are or who you are, there is always a friendly nod exchanged when crossing paths with another beard.”
It was at that very moment that the gentlemen in question founded the Ballarat Beard and Moustache Union (also known as the BBMU), a group which aims to unite people of all backgrounds under the banner of facial hair appreciation.
“There is a strong history of great facial hair throughout Ballarat’s years dating back as far as the gold rush era,” Brayden proudly exclaims. “Ballarat has seen many different eras of facial hair throughout the years, from the large full beards of the 1800s to the distinguished moustaches of the 20th century.
“We are also well known for our freezing cold winters, which is one of the many great reasons to grow some facial hair.”
The brilliant beards of the Ballarat region (nay, the entire country) will be showcased as part of the upcoming Ballarat Heritage Weekend Beard and Stache Competition.
Held at the city’s iconic Hop Temple, the competition will give entrants the chance to win in their share of $1000 in cash and prizes and be forever immortalised in facial hair folklore.
Attracting a range of demographics, Brayden says the event welcomes all ages and all facial hair-enthusiasts.
“The beautiful thing about competitive bearding is that even though the competition can be fierce, everyone still has fun without taking it too seriously,” he says.
“Those that compete will be recorded in Ballarat’s bearded history and will receive a signed certificate of participation from the Mayor of Ballarat. (But) most importantly, we want everybody to have fun, and that’s not hard when you’re surrounded by plenty of good food, good drinks, good entertainment and good beards.”
The competition is just one of many events being held throughout the weekend of May 26 and 27. The 2018 Heritage Weekend will also celebrate the evolution of technology over the last century, while continuing to pay tribute to Ballarat’s unique landscape, streetscape and history with a range of events including virtual reality tours, horse-and-carriage rides, vintage fashion shows and classic car displays.
“The Ballarat Beard and Stache Competition and the Ballarat Heritage Weekend are like peas and carrots and we thank the City of Ballarat for hosting the Ballarat Heritage Weekend, which is such a fitting event for our unique competition,” Brayden says.
Ballarat Heritage Weekend runs from May 26 – 27 from 10am – 5pm. For more information about the Ballarat Heritage Weekend program of events, head to