Long may he reign! At least that's what this longtime "Iowa state fair longest beard" champion is hoping to do. I'm not saying to give all of the gentlemen in this contest a trophy or anything but as someone who doesn't grow the best facial hair, I'm pretty envious of everyone who is able to enter this contest.

All of them have some impressive beards that would take a full-on broom to comb through. These guys would make Abe Lincoln jealous. Each one of them could possibly play Chewbacca in a Star Wars movie or played Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies. Could you consider these beards as face mullets?

According to KCRG, Harold Stephenson, from Center Point, Iowa, has reclaimed his title for having the Longest Beard at the Iowa State Fair. Harold actually claimed that title every year, for 12 straight years from 2009-20021. He was bested last year, finishing in a strong second place.

The longest-beard winner at the 2022 state fair was a man named Mark Bandonselaar, with a whopping beard of 41 and 7/8 inches, according to We Are Iowa. Last year, Mark said he had been attending the contest for the past 3 years and finally took down the longtime champion. Mark's beard was 9 years old at the time.

This year, Harold Stephenson was able to reclaim his title, taking home the blue ribbon with a beard 38 inches long.

In the We Are Iowa video, you can hear Harold and Mark talking about losing a few inches this year. Mark says to We Are Iowa

I brushed my longest ones out so, that happens.

The winner, Harold, also recognized losing a few inches on his beard as well. He says

Last year, I was 41 and 3/4, this year it was 38, so I lost some too.

Congratulations to Harold and everyone else who participate in this contest. Just like I will never be able to dunk a basketball, I'll never be able to truly participate in the Iowa State Fair Longest Beard Contest. It seems like such a fun and silly thing to do but I imagine that their faces get pretty itchy. I'd also imagine it's incredibly hot during the summer. Let's see if they can get back in the 40-inch range in 2024!

You can check out some of the other beards and other participants in the contest and get some beard-growing tips with this Iowa PBS video. These guys are all awesome!

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