Executives of the Independence Chamber of Commerce have stressed what they see as they need for the annual Santa-Cali-Gon Days festival to get back to its roots.

“We want to freshen it up,” says Lois McDonald, the chamber’s vice president of community development.

So, gentlemen, stop shaving for a few weeks.

The chamber is bringing back an old idea – a whiskers contest.

It seems to have a lot to do with a certain evocative old picture, part of memorabilia of decades of festival history: More than 60 men – most in cowboy hats, some in top hats, all in some sort of Western wear – are lined up outside what today is called the Truman Courthouse in the middle of the Square. The mustaches and beards run the gamut.

Printed onto one corner of the photo is this: “Standard Oil Whiskers Club, Santa-Cali-Gon Celebration, Independence, Mo., Oct 14-15-16, 1940.”

McDonald is taking up that idea, with a twist.

It’s a contest, open to Independence residents, starting Tuesday.

“They have to start clean shaven,” McDonald said.

Stop by the chamber, 210 W. Truman Road, or The Examiner (between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.) to have a photo snapped, verifying the lack of whiskers.

Then grow what you can grow or choose to grow between now and late August, when the contest ends.

“It would be sideburns. It would be a mustache,” McDonald points out.

“It’s kind of a no-shave November,” she said.

The winner is determined by the best look, with equal weight give to online votes at www.santacaligon.com, online votes on The Examiner’s Facebook page and a jury selection.

Prizes for the winner are two passes for Santa-Cali-Gon Main Stage VIP deck on the night of the winner’s choice as well as salon services for the winner and his significant other at B-Vogue Salon, followed by dinner for two at Vivilore. Both businesses are in the Englewood Arts District. The winner will be notified by Aug. 22 – a week before the Labor Day weekend festival – and the prize will be awarded on the community stage during the festival. The winner must be present to win.