Who is Princess Kay

Yesterday, I talked about my favorite building on the Minnesota State Fair grounds to visit. Today, I am going to talk about my favorite Minnesota State Fair event (besides the cows of course). Princess Kay of the Milky Way crowning!

Who is Princess Kay?

Each year over 100 young ladies are crowned county dairy princesses across Minnesota. Dairy princesses are the goodwill ambassadors for the dairy industry. Dairy princesses are selected on the basis of their communication skills, personality, general knowledge of the dairy industry and its products, and their commitment to dairy promotion. It isn’t all about beauty. It is about brains. Read what I wrote about the Princess Kay of the Milky Way program here and how they compare to the Disney Princesses.

From those 100 county princesses only twelve are selected to run for the top crown of Princess Kay of Milky Way. To be one of the finalists, a county princess must be judged in areas such as dairy industry knowledge, media interviews, poise and more. The twelve are selected at a retreat in May.

Crowning of Princess Kay will happen Wednesday, August 21 at 8:30pm at the State Fair Bandshell. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Princess Kay of the Milk Way program. The event is quite moving. Supporters of each of the twelve finalists make t-shirts, signs and chants to cheer on their favorites. Our friend, Maggie Stiles, was a finalist last year.

Princess Kay supporters photo via Maggie Stiles

Maggie’s cheering squad

As the evening grows darker, the pageant beings. Each contestant is dressed in beautiful gowns and has already perfected their princess wave. They come on the stage one by one and answer a question about the dairy industry. The crowd roars and cheers.

Princess Kay Finalist Maggie Stiles. Photo via Maggie Stiles

Maggie waving to the crowd. 

The reigning Princess Kay says a farewell message and highlights from the year are shown. Finally, the next Princess Kay is crowned. It is such an exciting to time. I usually shed a tear or two because I am so happy for all the contestants. Each of the Twelve finalists will have their heads carved in butter.

State Fair Butter Heads via Midwest Dairy

The Minnesota State Fair does not end the reign of the dairy princesses. Instead, it is a full year of visit schools, riding in parades, doing media interviews and promoting our awesome, nutritious dairy products.

Dairy Princess Maggie Stiles visiting with a classroom. Photo via Maggie Stiles

Maggie visiting with students

If you cannot make it to the Princess Kay coronation, make sure to stop by the Empire Commons building on the Minnesota State Fair Grounds. There you will see the famous Butter Heads. You can also buy a malt to support Minnesota dairy farmers.

Reminder: Today is the last day to enter my Minnesota State Fair ticket and Midwest Dairy malt stand coupon giveaway. I will be picking a winner at 10pm CT TONIGHT. Thank you to Midwest Dairy Association for sponsoring this giveaway.

What would you do if you had your head carved in butter? Would you eat it? or save it?


Thank you to Maggie Stiles and Midwest Dairy Association for the pictures for this post

4 thoughts on “Who is Princess Kay

  1. Kandy Stevens

    Wow! Thank you so much for this history lesson. I grew up in a part of the South where there are no state fairs. I have always wondered about the tradition of Princess Kay. This was very informative, and makes me appreciate even more so that my college boyfriend’s mom was one of the original Princess Kay’s. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the State Fair. Thanks for the series.

    As for my head in butter, I cannot even imagine what I would do. But I definitely know I would laugh . . . because that is good medicine.

  2. Tina Stiles

    Thanks for writing this blog. The Princess Kay coronation and program has always been very important to our family growing up dairy farmers but last year we realized what an amazing program it is. Maggie’s experience was incredible and our whole family had so much fun with the experience from the classroom visits to coronation night. It is a year we will never forget. Thank you for writing this blog and making everyone aware of the great program it is. We had several friends that are not involved in the dairy industry that came to the coronation and enjoyed it so much. Thought it was a great way to kick off the State Fair! Thank you and good luck to the 12!