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Twirl that mustache!

DETROIT LAKES - Gentlemen, stop your razors! That's right, stop right there -- put down the razor and the shaving cream and let your facial hair grow! Bob Sonnenberg of the Becker County Fair Board said this year's fair will feature contests for the best mustache and beard.

"I see a lot of men have got a little beard or mustache and they might want to elaborate on it," he said.

Now would be a good time to start growing facial hair out, Sonnenberg added, since that will give potential contestants about six months to grow it out. The contest will be July 24, Senior Day, at the Becker County Fair under the big tent.

Contestants will be judged on the length, thickness, style and grooming of their facial hair and are encouraged to tie the contest in with Minnesota's Sesquicentennial celebration through some historical, elaborate or unusual styles.

The beard category also includes goatees. Prizes in each category (beard or mustache) are $100 for first prize, $50 for second, and $25 for third.

No registration is needed, Sonnenberg stated. The contest is open to everybody and men who want to participate just need to show up "with whatever you've got."

The idea was started as a gimmick to draw people to the fair. Sonnenberg said he doesn't think he's seen a mention of a beard or mustache contest in the area in quite some time.

As far as he can remember, it's been since the mid-1970s or early 1980s since there was a contest like this in the area. He remembers that there was one in the area once, but he can't remember the organization with which it was associated or if it

Sonnenberg said he won't be participating in this year's contest. He said he had grown a beard many years ago, when he asked his wife what she thought it would look like. His daughter, young at the time, grabbed his beard and almost pulled his hair out. "I went and shaved if off immediately," he laughed.

He said he had visited a downtown business on Monday and some workers had expressed interest in the contest and were thinking about entering it.

"Off hand I don't know who's going to be in it yet," Sonnenberg said and then added, "And I'm sure there'll be some that start and shave it off down the road."

"I guess if the ladies want to grow one, we'll have a new bracket for them," he joked.