Video by Stephanie Mcgeary.
Panties were strewn across the stage at the Arcata Theatre Lounge on Feb. 10 where eager event-goers crowded in to find out who would be named Mr. Humboldt 2018.
The fifth annual fundraising event invited nine contestants to show off their wits, talents and body in competition for the highly coveted crown.
Jeff Mason, winner of Mr. Humboldt 2015, also known as Mr. Dairy Man, was impressed with this year’s contestants and felt they were all bringing their A-game.
“They are not holding back,” Mason said. “My job as a past Mr. Humboldt is to cheer everybody on.”
The nine contestants consisted of Mr. Culprit, Mr. Hans Buckethead, Mr. Fashion, Mr. Science, Mr. Rabbit, Mr. Breakfast Daddy, Mr. Chameleon, Mr. Shakespeare and Mr. Edible, a cardboard cutout of a gingerbread man.
They were all competing for not only the crown and title, but a donation to the charity of their choice.
One contestant who had huge support in the audience was Shayne Sines, or Mr. Science. Sines is an HSU graduate who teaches special education at Morris School in McKinleyville.
“I love giving to the community,” Sines said. “As an HSU alumni, I’ve got to.”
This year’s panel of judges included Arcata mayor Sofia Pereira, KHUM DJ Bayley Brown, Eric Hall, also known as Captain Awesome, the first ever Mr. Humboldt, and Eureka City Council member Austin Allison. The judges scored each contestant in the categories of question and answer, swimwear, talent and formal wear.
Equally entertaining were the swimwear and talent portions. Audience members were entertained by science experiments, rollerblading, body waxing, bacon, ukulele, weightlifting and an eye full of flesh.
Ryan Howe, also known as Mr. Hans Buckethead, is a 20-year-old Dell’Arte student. Having moved to the area recently, it was Howe’s first time experiencing the pageant. He had no expectations and was pleasantly surprised.
“It’s so excellent,” Howe said. “It could not have been anyplace else in the world.”
Howe was one of three contestants who made it to the finals, along with Mr. Fashion and Mr. Breakfast Daddy.
There were, however, some awards for those who were eliminated. Mr. Rabbit was named “Mr. Congeniality” and Mr. Shakespeare was given the annual “Cougar Award,” presented by local public figure Alex Stillman.
Though all the contestants were entertaining, there could only be one Mr. Humboldt.
In the end Nathan Davis-Floyd, Mr. Breakfast Daddy, proudly took the title and crown.
Davis-Floyd, 28, is an HSU philosophy student who has lived in Humboldt County for 10 years. Davis-Floyd felt he was finally worthy of the honor of being Mr. Humboldt as he felt the title should go to a long-time resident.
“I was never comfortable calling myself a local,” Davis-Floyd said. “At least I can call Humboldt my home.”
Davis-Floyd chose to donate his winnings to True North Organizing. One of the services provided by this local nonprofit is the Humboldt Rapid Response Network, which responds to calls about Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids.
In his acceptance speech, Davis-Floyd stressed the importance of donating whatever you can to nonprofits like True North or Planned Parenthood.
“Even if its five dollars a month,” Davis-Floyd said, “you spend that on beer in a day.”