North Creek, NY (WIBX) - If you want to be in the running for the best Donegal Beard it is time to start growing.

Contestants must have been clean-shaven on or after January 1, 2013 and there is no need to register.  Just groom a beard that grows along the jaw line and make certain that it covers your chin.  Then show up for the judging.

Donegal beards, also known as "chin-curtains" or "Lincoln" beards, are not to be confused with chinstrap beards which do not completely cover the chin.

Photo Courtesy: John Warren

Similar contests are held all around the country and usually start January first and end during St. Patrick's Day.  They are named in honor of Donegal County in Ireland.

The Fifth Annual Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest will take place on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at Basil & Wicks on Route 28 in North Creek, New York.

John Warren, one of the organizers of the event, says that he was inspired by a similar contest they had heard about in Texas that has been held since the 1930's.  He says about twenty "beardsmen" competed last year and the popularity of the contest is, well, growing.

Last year's winners were Jack Leggett of Chestertown and Josh Nichols of Saratoga Springs.  North Creek's Dan Pratt, not to beft out, was the runner-up.  They join the ranks of famous notables who sported Donegal beards including, of course, President Abraham Lincoln, Brigham Young of Mormon fame, the founding editor of Wired Magazine Kevin Kelly, Rastafarian Mutabaruka (who does not always sport the beard), and former Surgeon General Dr. Charles Everett Koop.

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There are prizes, of course, although the best, Mr. Warren says, is the right to boast, and subsequently toast your beard, perhaps with a Celtic ale.

For more information about the contest visit the Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest Facebook page or call: (518) 956.3830.