World Beard and Moustache Championships 2009 Parade
Antwerp Moustache of the Year 2009
Report by Steve Parsons

In the city of antwerp there is a moustache club known as The Lonely Moustache. Well, on the first weekend of June the sole member of this club was joined by another lonely moustache, your intrepid Secretary, the only Handlebar Club member able to attend this year’s Antwerp Moustache of the Year event hosted by the less lonely and far more populous Snorrenclub Antwerpen.

The wheeled papier maché statue known as DjonThe weekend followed the rather predictable but thoroughly enjoyable format of drinking large quantities of delicious Belgian beer in the moustache-themed bar rather conveniently owned by club president (and Handlebar Club Friend) Ronnie Vermeulen, processing through the streets of Antwerp behind a large moustachioed sculpture on wheels and then drinking more, still delicious, Belgian beer (and rather more surprisingly enough Scotch whisky to make a lake the size of, well … Belgium).

Despite the large quantities of alcohol flowing I did actually learn something interesting (although probably not useful) over the weekend; something concerning the male inhabitants of Leuven in Belgium.The effect of Scotch whisky on a moustachioed Belgian - do not try this at home Leuven is the town where Stella Artois is brewed, a fact that I suspect explains all. When a Leuven male attains the venerable age of forty he receives a letter from the town council inviting him to join a club formed of other men from his particular year of birth. These chaps then spend the next ten years having parties, organising events and making money to spend on the annual parade through Leuven that they head once they have reached the age of fifty and moved up through the ranks of previous years. After ten years of fun and games the club disbands and they go their separate ways. We had the pleasure of meeting the Leuven Men of ’61 who for some opaque reason were dressed like the Blues Brothers and had come to Antwerp to enjoy, (and enjoy they did) the moustache festivities.

Two men of Leuven – aged 48My thanks go to Ronnie, Wim, Martine and all at the Snorrenclub for a great weekend, to the Men of Leuven ’61 for being there and finally to the wonderful Belgian tax payer who provided us with, in return for listening to the mayor make a rather long speech in Flemish, the most delicious (free) beer of the weekend at the City Hall. End of text moustache
Keri enjoys a beer at the Belgian tax payers' expense

Text and pictures © Steve Parsons / The Handlebar Club MMIX