Power of Beardstock: Celebrating beards and helping the homeless

For the fifth year, there was a celebration of beards and music while trying to help the area homeless in Minot.

The 5th Annual Beardstock Benefit Festival took place Saturday from 3 to 11 p.m. at Aleshire Theater and in the Black Box Theater in Hartnett Hall on the campus of Minot State University.

Sounds of upbeat and fun music from live local bands could be heard throughout the theater along with the bustle of an excited crowd showing support for their friends onstage and trying to do their part in helping people without a home.

Three Minot State University campus ministries were among the event’s sponsors. Members of Chi Alpha, a Christian fellowship student organization, took photos of willing participants for the Facebook page about Beardstock, and Campus Crusade for Christ and Lutheran Campus Ministry were also helping at the event. Spicy Pickle, another one of the event’s sponsors, provided the soup for people in attendance.

For an admission fee of $5 per person, with all proceeds going to benefit the Minot Area Homeless Coalition, attendees could enjoy the music and festivities all afternoon and evening. Attendees could also donate a nonperishable food item if they wished. Beardstock organizer Dan Hansen, said Louis “Mac” MacLeod, executive director of the Minot Homeless Coalition, was going to speak at the event as well.

Every year, the benefit festival donates the proceeds to the homeless community, Hansen explained.

Last year, Beardstock was held at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall on the MSU campus, but the change of venue to Aleshire Theater in Hartnett Hall seemed to work just as well. Hansen said last year 500 to 600 people attended the benefit festival and was hoping for more people this year.

“We had 400 people commit on Facebook and we had people call from Montana saying they’re coming, so we’re anticipating a big crowd,” he added. “Plus it’s nice outside so that helps. When it’s cold outside, people tend to stay inside.”

New at Beardstock this year is a vote on whether Hansen shaves his beard off or leaves it. Whichever side was ahead by Friday, he was to either shave or leave his beard for the day of the benefit festival. The voters decided Hansen could keep the beard since he was sporting a full, bushy red beard on the day of Beardstock.

“It’s rewarding in itself to see all the hard work coming into play,” noted Hansen. “Inspiring people to come out and make a difference, that’s a reward.”

After Beardstock, there are other events on the horizon, such as a concert on April 23 in Stanley featuring Family Force 5, said Hansen, and the 7th Annual Rock the Leaves concert in August. People with questions about these events can contact Hansen at