Beauty & the Beards
Temporary 'law' on city's 150th birthday will require permits for those without beards or wearing makeup

Patti Sells | News-Telegram Feature Editor

May 8, 2004 -- "Beard & Beauty" permits for a temporary law will go into effect July 3, through the end of sesquicentennial activities on July 17, according to Tim Kelty, chairman of the Beard & Beauty Committee.

During the two-week Sesquicentennial Celebration period Sulphur Springs residents will be required to wear a beard or beauty badge that allows the men to shave and women to wear make-up. Individuals who do not have a permit and are caught clean shaven or wearing make-up will be subject to "The Law South of the Sulphur" with enforcement by members of the community's various service organizations, who will be sworn in by Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap after the auction on May 17, as well. Unlawful citizens will face minimum fines of $25, be thrown in jail and subject to posting bail, or even sent to the gallows, "all depending on the mood of the judge," according to Kelty, who witnessed the mock hanging of his own father 50 years ago at the town's centennial celebration.

"And those judges were a lot more lenient. These judges may not be swayed by pleas or songs, but money will definitely influence," laughed Kelty. "Everybody had just better get their billfolds out."

Prizes will be awarded on July 17, in several beard categories for the men, and bonnet and costume categories for the ladies. Permits may be purchased after the May 8 sale at the courthouse at the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce and local banks, or button permits from the town's centennial celebration 50 years ago (a collector's item) will be honored.

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