MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/CNN) — The traditional Minnesota State Fair is canceled this year due to the pandemic although there is a scaled-down drive-through version.
But one former dairy princess can still relive the fair through a piece of its history: a butter sculpture of her own head she’s been keeping safe in the freezer for 40 years!
Former Princess Kay Donna Moenning says, “You didn’t do anything unless the cows were milked, you know, fed and milked.”
Dairy farming is in Donna Moenning’s blood.
In fact, in 1980, she won the Lac Qui Parle County dairy princess competition.
Then she won the region to advance to the State Fair is one of 12 Princess Kay finalists.
Moenning says, “The opportunity, and I’m being totally serious, the opportunity to come down and be a part of that Minnesota State Fair. Wow. I mean, I, it opened up my world.”
She didn’t take home the crown, but she did take home something just as savory.
Moenning says, “It is a wrestling match there she is.”
Just like today, Princess Kay finalists in 1980 were sculpted out of butter.
Donna decided back then she would keep hers. And through various stages of life, she never lost her head.
40 years later, it sits in the freezer next to the pot roast and word has spread like butter on toast.
Moenning says, “They’re amazed. They’re amazed. It is an iconic piece of Minnesota State Fair history. So the fact that I have a little piece of it in my freezer is very, you know, unique to a lot of people.”
Donna’s likeness was carved out of a 60-pound block of butter back then, the eighties hair is still intact.
She’ll bring the sculpture out when people ask, but her main reason for keeping it is to remind her of her roots and to celebrate Minnesota farmers.
Especially dairy farmers.
Moenning says, “Truly it is about the people you meet and the lessons you learn. You take those with you. It’s just good. It’s all. It’s good. It’s good. Like butter.”
State Fair butter sculptor Linda Christensen created Donna’s sculpture over several hours.
The sculptures then were made out of 60 pounds of butter.
But now it takes 90 pounds to carve the perfect visage.