New year + fresh face = Donegal beard competition

Updated: Dec. 31, 2019 at 11:36 AM EST
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - With the swipe of a razor and the dab of some cream, this year's Donegal Beard Competition is on!

The Sportsman Barbershop in Watertown runs the contest, starting with a fresh shave at the turn of the year.

“This is our tenth year; usually we do it on New Year’s Day, but this year we’re doing it on New Year’s Eve, so it’s something different,” said Connie Johnston, Sportsman Barbershop owner.

Starting now, contestants have until March 13, the Irish Festival, to grow the perfect beard.

"Whoever has the largest beard gets a trophy, a sash, of course bragging rights for the rest of the year," said Johnston.

"It's always fun and competitive," said David Grandjean, competitor.

The ideal Donegal beard is full, shiny and doesn’t have a soul patch or mustache.

Guy Forbes participates every year.

"Well, I think it's the fun of going up there and everybody trying to outdo everybody else," he said.

His secret for growing a great beard?

"A little iron, put a little more iron in your diet," he said.

There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, an under 18 winner, and a most colorful winner. There's now a 70 plus category for the competition so the older contestants can keep up with the younger guys.

There aren't any requirements for entry aside from getting the clean shave.

"My sister always used to tell me, you don't have an ounce of Irish in you! I said, no! On St. Patrick's Day, we're all Irish," said Forbes.

The beards are off and the race is on.

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