Reporting Natalie Nyhus
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) – Meet Mary Zahurones, the 58th Princess Kay of the Milky Way. She was chosen to be the new goodwill ambassador for Minnesota’s dairy farmers last Wednesday night during an evening ceremony at the State Fairgrounds.
Within a span of 24 hours she was crowned, greeting state fair goers and immortalized by, what else, a giant butter sculpture of her head.
The first day of the fair, Mary’s alarm went off at 3:30 a.m. That’s after sleeping just a few hours. It was, after all, the opening day of the Great Minnesota Get-Together.
“I don’t think I would sleep much even if they allowed it because I was so excited,” recalled the new princess.
Mary is an 18-year-old college student from Pierz, Minn. She’s at the fair every day, spreading the good news about the 4,500 dairy farmers of Minnesota.
“I’m here talk to families across Minnesota to encourage them to ask me questions about the dairy industry so that they’re not left in the dark about our industry,” Mary explained.
When it’s fair time, Princess Kay puts her crown on at 8 a.m., heads straight to the dairy building and doesn’t leave the until 6 p.m. But her day’s not over yet.
After the fair, she meets with farmers, speaks at schools and keeps up her Princess Kay Facebook Fan Page.
According to Mary, “It’s a full time job. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, just like the committed dairy farmers of Minnesota.”
She claims that it is more of a lifestyle than a job to be Princess Kay, but it’s got benefits. Like free ice cream.
Mary has a favorite: “Chocolate chip ice cream. I love all types of ice cream, but the little bit of chocolate in there is an extra treat.”
Of course, it’s more than the free treats that keep Mary happy wearing her crown.
“It’s a true blessing to be able to talk to all of these people. And the crown helps people listen,” she said.