The razors are out as the Donegal Beard Contest kicks off

Published: Dec. 31, 2022 at 5:36 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Ladies and gentlemen ready your razors! The North Country’s Donegal Beard Contest has officially commenced.

“This is the big kickoff. So new year, new beard, or no beard actually,” said Connie Johnson, owner of Sportsman’s Barber Shop.

Folks young and old lined up for a shave, vying to learn who can grow the best beard from scratch before Saint Patrick’s Day.

Some are a little less eager than others to say bye to their bristles.

”Yeah, I’ll miss it here in a few hours. I’ll miss it. Always do,” said participant Michael Davis.

Helping people lose the locks is former champion Robert Mevec. He’s competed several times, but 2023 marks his first time behind the razor.

“You think about when you get shaved by a barber and all the time and patience it takes. That’s how I felt. You don’t want to nick ‘em,” said Mevec.

COVID put the contest on hold last year. Organizers say they’re happy it’s returning to the Dulles State Office Building in 2023.

“We’re glad to be there. We’re glad to be back to somewhat normal,” said Johnson.

Come Saint Patrick’s Day, the bearer of the overall best beard will receive a trophy. New to the contest are youth and senior categories, so there’s more than one shot at a prize.

“There’s something for everyone. You don’t necessarily need the largest beard to win a prize. It’s a lot of fun,” said Johnson.

If you missed out on Saturday, there’s still time. Stop by Sportsman’s Barber Shop on State Street in Watertown with a clean shave and they’ll take your picture for you. If you can’t make it, send in a photo to