Feature Photos

Arm wrestling comes to El Dorado Hills

By From page B2 | August 15, 2012

Look into my eyes — Barbers Shane Patterson and David Aviles practice for the upcoming arm wrestling competition sponsored by their boss, World Famous Barber Jon. The family event will be held at 6 p.m. on Aug. 18 at the El Dorado Saloon, and will benefit the SPEAR. Courtesy photo

Some very fit guys will pair up, hold hands and stare into each other’s eyes during a special competition at the El Dorado Saloon on Saturday, Aug. 18.

The event sponsor and master of ceremonies is the flamboyant and world famous (by self-proclamation) Barber Jon Rivera, a local character so colorful that he keeps a cape and top hat near his barber chair.

But this event is no song and dance. The inaugural World Famous Barber Jon Open Invitational Arm Wrestling Competition pits mano-a-mano in a testosterone-fueled test of prehensile limb strength. Men of any gender are welcome.

The mitt-mashing will benefit Suicide Prevention Education Action Resources, a youth suicide prevention program. Founder Vivian Hurtado-Figueira said she’d only recently met the garrulous barber, but was impressed by him.

“He was personable and very passionate about saving kids’ lives,” she said. “My father was a barber, and he attended Mission High School in San Francisco, as did Jon, so we hit it off.”

SPEAR receives no grant funding, and only exists because of people who recognize the importance of the work, she added. She reported recent confirmation from seven former students, including some El Dorado Hills residents, who said they would have tried to take their lives if she hadn’t intervened.

Recent youth suicides in the area demonstrate the need for a program like SPEAR, said Rivera.

The competition won’t be federation-sanctioned in its inaugural year, and is being billed as a fun family activity. The early rounds start at 6 p.m.

Competition costs $25, and include a T-shirt and a beer coupon. Admission is free for spectators. Mechanical bull rides are available for $3; women ride free.

The El Dorado Saloon offers a full menu, and is planning drink specials for the event.

Competitions will be held at several weight classes:
• Light 0-155 pounds
• Middle 156-175 pounds
• Light Heavy 176-200 pounds
• Heavy 201-232 pounds
• Super Heavy above 232 pounds
• Children’s weight classes as needed

For more information contact Barber Jon or Barber Dave at the barber shop at (916) 939-0512.

Mike Roberts

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