Watertown's annual beard battle has begun.
January 1st marks the start of the Donegal Beard contest, a race to grow the finest facial hair.
The starting line is a fresh shave at Sportsman's Barbershop in Watertown.
About 25 guys are competing this year, including newcomer Conner Shuler-Hopper, who's 15 years old.
“Now that I can grow somewhat of a beard, they said that I should join and here I am,” Shuler-Hopper said.
“It's tradition,” said contestant Brian Murphy. “I enjoy it. It's all for fun. I haven't placed the past couple of years, but there's always this year.”
Participants have until March 15th to grow their beards. They'll be judged at the 34th annual North Country Irish Festival.