ST PAUL, Minn. — Ahead of the official start of the Minnesota State Fair, another tradition took place on Wednesday night: the crowning of Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
This year 19-year-old Anna Euerle was chosen to be the goodwill ambassador for the nearly 2,500 dairy farm families in Minnesota. The Ridgewater College student from Litchfield will make public appearances throughout the next year connecting people to dairy farmers through conversations, speaking engagements and classroom visits.
Princess Kay candidates are selected for their knowledge of the dairy industry, excellent communication skills and overall enthusiasm for dairy.
Isabelle Lindahl of Lindstrom and Megan Meyer of Rollingstone were chosen as runners-up, and Kelsey Erf of Oakdale, Emily Leonard of Norwood Young America and Isabelle Lindahl were named scholarship winners. Katrina Thoe of Hayfield was named Miss Congeniality.
Euerle's first official duty, as tradition dictates, is to sit in a rotating cooler in the Dairy Building at the fairgrounds while a sculptor fashions her likeness from a 90-pound block of butter. Artist Linda Christensen will spend nearly eight hours creating the bust in her 50th and final year carving butter at the fair.
The other nine finalists in the competition will also have their likeness forged from butter by Christensen's successor, Minnesota native Gerry Kulzer. The schedule for the sittings is as follows:
- Saturday, Aug. 28: Kelsey Erf, Oakdale, representing Washington County
- Sunday, Aug. 29: Emily Leonard, Norwood Young America, representing Carver County
- Monday, Aug. 30: Jessica Ohmann, Albany, representing Stearns County
- Tuesday, Aug. 31: Alaina Johnson, Dakota, representing Houston County
- Wednesday, Sept. 1: Megan Meyer, Rollingstone, representing Winona County
- Thursday, Sept. 2: Isabelle Lindahl, Lindstrom, representing Chisago County
- Friday, Sept. 3: Katrina Thoe, Hayfield, representing Dodge County
- Saturday, Sept. 4: Kelsey Kuball, Waterville, representing Rice County; and
- Sunday, Sept. 5: Emeliya Dose, Plainview, representing Wabasha County
Daily updates and photos of the sculptures can be seen on the Princess Kay Facebook page.
Princess Kay and the other finalists are scheduled to make appearances near the Butter Sculpture Booth and the Moo Booth in the Dairy Building throughout the fair. The Dairy Barn is located at the corner of Judson Avenue and Underwood Street.