International competitors heading to 2020 Mulletfest at the Chelmsford Hotel

STYLE: Laura Johnson's son Max, 6, taking a sip from the Best Mullet Of Them All trophy ahead of Mulletfest on February 29. Picture: Simone De Peak
STYLE: Laura Johnson's son Max, 6, taking a sip from the Best Mullet Of Them All trophy ahead of Mulletfest on February 29. Picture: Simone De Peak

It started local, quickly went interstate and in its third year, Mulletfest will have at least three competitors travelling to Kurri Kurri from overseas for the hair raising event.

"One's from the UK, one's from the US and the other is from New Zealand," Mulletfest organiser Laura Johnson said.

"And it's not like they're mates and they've all planned together to come. They're all coming separately."

It's just one example of how this grassroots ode to the 1980s hairstyle has exploded since the Chelmsford Hotel event began back in 2018.

That inaugural event attracted 143 entries and some international media attention.

It grew even more with 169 entrants last year and Laura said more than 200 people had signed up to compete in the February 29 event - and entries aren't closed yet.

She put the success of the event down to one aspect.

"It's just good clean fun," Laura says. "You know you're going to have a good time. No one is really taking themselves too seriously."

In the spirit of not taking themselves too seriously, the Mulletfest team decided to kick off this year's promotion at the most Aussie place they could think of - Summernats.

The team joined pub rock icon Shannon Noll to crown the Grand Mullet champion and Laura said some of the entrants in that competition will back it up at Mulletfest this year.

This year's festivities will include a "rookie" section for the first time - a Friday night event in honour of Matthew Forster, who died of brain cancer after last year's Mulletfest.

Laura said Matthew's brain cancer battle inspired the idea to support the Mark Hughes Foundation at the 2019 event.

The rookie section is for those who have been rocking a mullet for two years or less and is the only category with an entry fee - $5, which will go to the Mark Hughes Foundation.

On the main event on Saturday, the categories include junior, everyday, extreme, grubby, ranga, international and vintage.

Mulletfest entries close at midnight tonight and there will not be entries accepted on the day.

This story International competitors heading to 2020 Mulletfest first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.