Start taking your Lance-Armstrong-approved beard-supplements now, gentlemen (and some unfortunate ladies)! It’s almost time for that annual test of hairy-cheeked caveman virility: the second-annual Arkansas Times/Root Cafe Beard Growing Competition!

Contestants will be subject to a “Shave In” — at which judges will certify that all a competitor’s whiskers have been whisked away — on Saturday, Dec. 7 between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at The Root Cafe, 1500 Main Street in Little Rock. Entry in the contest is free.

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The judging of who has managed to cultivate the most prodigious facebush will be held on Saturday, March 1 at Bernice Garden, the same day as the SoMa Mardi Gras parade. This year, the categories are: Fullest Beard (a combination of last year’s Longest and Thickest categories), Most Original Beard, and Best Sideburns and Mustache Combo. We’ll also hand out a Lifetime Achievement Award for loveliest beard by someone not competing in the grow-off. Prizes (to be announced) will be awarded in all categories.

Last year’s Beard Growing Competition attracted more than 50 participants and an audience of 150 people for the judging event. For more info call the Root cafe at (501) 414-0423, or email