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Sportsman’s and Irish Festival crown 2024 Donegal ‘King of Beards’

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Troy Phillips was named the 2024 Donegal “King of Beards” on Friday night as the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival kicked off at the Dulles State Office Building on Washington Street.

The winner was selected by a panel of five.

It came down to Phillips and second place finisher Dakota Twombly, and when Phillips was at the final two, he said he didn’t think he was going to win.

Phillips previously told the Times that he was nervous when getting his beard shaved around the first of the year as he hadn’t shaved in several years. He also added that his family played a role in starting the Irish Fest and they continue to run the popcorn and cotton candy booth.

He said that “genetics” was his secret to having an award-winning beard.

This year Don Dewert was presented with the “Dedicated Donegal,” which almost serves as a legacy award as Dewert has participated in every beard competition since the second annual event.

He said he regrets not taking part in the first one.

“I’m kicking myself for that,” he said.

Contestants check in, then during the event, they will walk up to the judge’s table, and then are called up front and asked a series of questions about their beard, as well as questions about themselves.

The first-place winner receives a trophy to take photos with and give back, while also bringing home a plaque and those who finish second or third also receive plaques. For the first time, Victory Promotions donated a wrestling-style championship belt for the first place.

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