Artifact of the Month

Rodeo of the Ozarks shaving permit button
Donated by Nancy Dugwyler

In the 1960s and 1970s, part of the promotional hoopla surrounding Springdale's annual Rodeo of the Ozarks included a beard-growing contest for Springdale businessmen. Prizes were awarded for a variety of categories: "Most Distinguished," "Ugliest," "One Who Tried the Hardest," and "Scratchiest."

Men could avoid participating in the contest by purchasing a "Shaver Permit" and wearing this button to show they were in the clear. Those who didn't comply risked being hauled off to a makeshift jail or tossed in a dunk tank, both located on Emma Avenue for all to see.

From its inception in 1945 until 2016, the Rodeo of the Ozarks was scheduled to coincide with the Fourth of July, a popular time for rodeos across the country. Rodeo of the Ozarks organizers decided in 2016 to move the event to June, giving the Springdale rodeo a better chance of attracting the top cowboys and cowgirls on the pro rodeo circuit.

To learn more about the Rodeo of the Ozarks, visit our online exhibit.

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