Barbers to put skills to test at Lawrence showcase; registration, tickets available

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Barbers from Kansas and surrounding states will soon rev up their clippers for a battle of their skills, and the Lawrence community is invited to bear witness.

Jermaine “Gametime” Jackson, a longtime Lawrence barber who primarily cuts hair at Watson’s Barbershop, and his colleagues are organizing the second installment of the Cuttin’ Up Barber Showcase. Hosted in Lawrence, the event is designed to bring barbers from all walks of life together in celebration of their craft.

“It’s gonna be a banger,” Jackson says in a promotional video. “We will have bracket-like battles, so it’s gonna be like a versus-type deal.”

Last year, hundreds of spectators gathered in Lawrence to watch area barbers compete in the first Cuttin’ Up Barber Showcase. Jackson said the idea was born out of love for underappreciated local Black barbershops and hair salons.

This year’s has the same goal — but leveled up. A larger event space will allow more competitors, vendors and spectators to join, Jackson says.

Carter Gaskins/Lawrence Times Jermaine “Gametime” Jackson speaks at the 2023 Cuttin Up’ Barber Showcase.

Battles include the best and fastest bald fade, best taper with a beard combination, best design, and best and fastest straight back braids, according to an event flyer. Judges will select winners who will earn cash prizes in all categories.

Live entertainment will be provided by DJ Biz and Dre Will Productions, according to the flyer.

There will also be food, drink and retail vendors set up for folks to shop local. Vendors — many that are Black-owned — so far include Ashley Randle Soulful Creations, She Will Beauty, Crystal Clear Reality, Brick City Clothing, Red Carpet Photography, Sharon with Something Urban, Nena Caro with Paparazzi Jewelry, Kevin Caro with KC’S Gifts and Surprises, R. Lamar Clothing, Barbers Illustrated Magazine, Kansas Barber Battle, and Sherell’s Custom Treats.

The 2024 Cuttin’ Up Barber Showcase is scheduled for 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 14 at the Springhill Suites by Marriott, 1 Riverfront Plaza in downtown Lawrence.

Tickets for general admission at the door cost $25 each. Tickets for seniors cost $10, and people ages 12 and younger will be admitted for free.

Registration costs $75 per barber per category. Vendor fees also cost $75. Call or text Jackson at 785-691-9372 to register in the competition, to sign up to be a vendor or for additional information.

View photos from last year’s showcase in this article.

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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Kaw Valley Almanac for July 15-21, 2024

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