Personal problems aside, I promised you butter princesses and you are going to get them!
Minnesota and Wisconsin are agricultural states. There are a lot of cows in these two states. And a lot of dairy farmers. Most of the children of these farms belong to various dairy related organizations like 4H and such. They also belong to the American Dairy Association, whom I think sponsors an annual contest for the daughters to find and crown Princess Kay of the Milky Way. (I'm not making this shit up!)
Although a thorough knowledge of cows and milk is required, it is basically a beauty contest for ugly farm girls so they don't feel left out. Well, that's my opinion anyway.
Each year these various clubs elect their own Dairy Princess who is then eligible to compete for the crown of Princess Kay. The winner is announced at the Minnesota State Fair. Along the way to winning the crown, the girls get to have their likeness sculpted in a giant block of butter.
Like this one in progress:
It takes several hours to complete one. The girls sit in a chamber where the temperature is around 32 F while the artist sculpts their likeness. In my experience, they never look like the actual girl in question. Only the hairstyle changes. They all have this weird open mouth look and are slightly caricuristic in appearance.
Whichever one is crowned in real life gets a small tiara placed on her butter sculpture head as well.
Once the fair is over, the girls are free to take their butter busts home with them. I have heard it told that some of them save them for their wedding receptions, letting guests carve their faces into smithereens. The best story I have heard is that one girl sponsored a charity corn roast and allowed people to butter their corn by rolling it around on her bust of butter. I would love to smoosh a cob of corn into some of these myself.
There were not a lot completed when we attended the fair, in fact just one! So here she is. Ms. Wadena County in butter.
But wait, there's more! Here she is in all of her glory......Princess Kay of the Milky Way 2008!
I took this picture from a little distance away. I hear they kick.