Friday, August 27, 2010

Princess Kay of the Milky Way

Yesterday I was at the Minnesota State Fair on an assignment for The Catholic Spirit. I know! I love my job.

The 57th Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Katie Miron, is an active member of St. John the Baptist parish in Hugo, so I set out to get a photo while her likeness was carved in butter, a tradition at the fair.

I found her sitting in a 40-degree rotating glass booth near the back of the Dairy Building, where she was bundled in a winter coat and snow pants while butter sculptor Linda Christensen worked on her masterpiece.

Christensen has been carving butter statues of the princesses for the past 39 years. She has done more than 500 of them. The sculptures take 6 to 8 hours to complete, and she will do the 11 finalists, too, completing one each day of the fair.

When the fair is over, Miron and the other finalists will take their sculptures home.

But what do you do with a butter head?

During a short question-and-answer session with spectators in the afternoon, Miron said she will keep it until her reign as Princess Kay is over next year and then she will use it for cooking and baking. Past princesses have used them for cooking, kept them in the freezer and donated them to Catholic schools. One is even on display at the Minnesota History Center, according to a story today in the Wall Street Journal.

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