On the surface, writers and cowboys don’t seem to have a lot in common. One is all blue jeans and trucks and cattle and blisters, and the other is all keyboards and poor posture and “Is this dialogue authentic?” But the two worlds collide occasionally: cowboy poetry, Western fiction, and most importantly: stylish mustaches.

It’s why we’re holding our first mustache contest at this year’s Lighthouse fundraising event, Pony Up: A Shindig of Western Proportions. Held at Bear Creek Lake Park on September 10, Pony Up will feature trail rides, line dancing, whiskey tastings, a chuck wagon supper, live music, and gourmet s’mores around the campfire. All proceeds from the event will benefit Lighthouse programs, including creative writing outreach for at-risk and under-served youth, free public literary events, visits from acclaimed authors, and our community outreach initiatives throughout the Denver area.

The Pony Up mustache contest is open to everyone, with prizes for best men’s, best women’s, and best overall. If you’re in it to win it, you should probably start growing now. And if you need some inspiration, check out some of our favorite literary mustaches below.


The Kurt Vonnegut

This could also very easily be called the Burt Reynolds. Ideal for anyone who leaves one too many (Hawaiian) shirt buttons unclasped.


The William Faulkner

Would we bet that he owned a tiny comb used exclusively for mustache grooming? Yes, we would. We would bet one million dollars.


The Arthur Conan Doyle

Do you moonlight as a railroad baron? Do you regularly say “Harrumph?” The search is over. This look is for you.


The George Orwell

A.k.a, the sneaky ‘stache. It’s like, hair or chocolate milk? Hair? Or chocolate milk?


The Mark Twain

Really, this is more like three mustaches. One for your mouth and two for your eyes. A look not for the faint of heart or hair.

Whatever mustache look you choose, don’t forget: Pony Up takes place from 5:30 to 9:30 PM, September 10, at Bear Creek Lake State Park. Click here to get your tickets now!