Barber battle grows in sixth year

Nov. 19—DANVILLE — Terry Gouard has already had a good year with the moving of his A+ Cutz Barber Shop to Downtown Danville and the start of a barber education program at Danville Area Community College.

But Gouard has one more highlight left in the year and it will be on Sunday with the sixth annual Barber and Beauty Battle of Central Illinois at DACC's Bremer Conference Center.

"This whole year has been pretty good with moving downtown, starting the barber program at DACC here soon and a new venue for the Barber and Beauty battle," Gouard said. "We have had it the last five years at Laura Lee Fellowship and it has grown, so we are happy to have it at DACC this year."

According to Gouard, the move to the center shows the overall growth of the event.

"This venue is double the size so we can have more vendors and more barbers and there is more parking," Gouard said. "We have had a great five years with Laura Lee Fellowship and we are forever grateful, but it was time to grow."

The growth has made the event that includes the best of Central Illinois, but now the best of the state and beyond.

"In my first year, I had Danville, Champaign, Peoria and maybe Springfield," Gouard said. "But now it is all of Illinois, including Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Dallas, Indianapolis, Hammond, Ind., Colorado and California. It was from me going to shows and networking and they wanted to come down and support me."

The Battle itself will be a day of education, business and competition.

"It is where barbers, stylists and vendors come together and network and show our skills and educate each other and support each other," Gouard said. "We have a lot of categories like best student, best combover, fastest haircut, best designs. It is for barbers and stylists to come in and show their skills against other stylists and barbers."

Out of the many categories, there will be two that will be the focal point.

"I have 12 categories all together with 10 of them being the undercard. Those winners get trophies, but you want to go for the top two prizes, which is A+ Stylist and A+ Barber. It is set like an WWE-type championship belt and it is something that everyone that should be going for."

The event starts at 9 a.m. with seven classes that will run through 11:15 a.m.

"We are starting with an instructor from Springfield (Donnieray Hairartist), we will have and instructor from Westville (Monica MeHarry), I will be hosting a class along with another teacher from Danville (Mz. Miles), we have Alvin Owens, a Tricoci instructor from Milwaukee hosting a class, Don Potter out of Indianapolis will host a class and Barber Nas, a Wahl Educator, will host a class. It is something that we added for barbers and stylists to continue their education."

Vendors start setting up at 10:30 a.m., doors will open at 11 a.m. and the event will start at noon. General admission to the event is $20, which includes access to the classes and the event.

"It will be a long day, but it is something that I like to do," Gouard said. "It should be great for Danville because it brings all these people who have never been and never thought to come here to come down here but they chose this show. A lot of people say this is their favorite show because the best can come out and face the best in one area. This is going to be the best year worldwide, it has been good.

"I want to thank Carlos Harvey from A Cut Above Barber Academy in Champaign and Anthony Fane out of Belleville with VIP Cross Cuts and also DACC for providing the space."