Serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

New Princess Kay settles into routine

By Janet Kubat Willette

Date Modified: 09/04/2013 2:00 PM

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FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — Barely eight hours after being crowned the 60th Princess Kay of the Milky Way, MarJenna McWilliam was at the Minnesota State Fair giving interviews.

McWilliam, 20, of Winger in Polk County, was crowned around 9:30 p.m. Aug. 21, the night before the fair opened. On opening day, she was at the fair around 5:15 a.m. to greet members of the media.

By 9 a.m., she had settled into a routine of interviews while sitting in the rotating cooler in the Dairy Building where artist Linda Christensen sculpted her likeness into a 90-pound block of butter.

"It's pretty amazing," McWilliam said, seeming to be still a little surprised that she's Princess Kay. "I didn't mind not having any sleep last night."

McWilliam snatched only about an hour and a half of sleep before rising early to get to the fair on time.

She was having fun with the bystanders who came to watch the carving in progress. She'd wave, only to have the bystanders look to their left or right, then smile or stare back.

Her parents, sister, aunt and grandmother surprised her by showing up at the cooler.

They came for the banquet and coronation the night before and planned to stay through Sunday. It was the first time any of them had attended coronation.

It was the first time her grandmother, Lyla Moteberg of Warroad, had been to the state fair. She was celebrating her 75th birthday early at the fair.

"It's quite a celebration with my granddaughter," she said.

LaVonne McWilliam said her daughter was so happy to be a finalist and get to know the other finalists better.

All of the girls would do a good job, said Bruce McWilliam, MarJenna's father.

"They're all very qualified," Moteberg agreed.

Early into her yearlong reign, McWilliam already has plans for her tenure.

"I definitely want to do a lot of school visits," said the English education major at North Dakota State University.

She'd also like to make more appearances in northern Minnesota, where she is from.

"I'd never met a Princess Kay," McWilliam said.

In northern Minnesota, they isn't the competition to be a dairy princess that there is in southern Minnesota, she said. McWilliam's home is 300 miles, about five hours, from the state fair.

Her father, Bruce, has milked cows for 63 years. Now, he has only eight milk cows, but they have had every major breed: Milking Shorthorn, Jersey, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Ayrshire, Holstein cross and Red and White Holstein cross. He is a retired English teacher.

McWilliam is the fourth generation to live on the farm that's been in the family since 1912. She's shown every major breed and earned Grand Champion and Reserve Champion awards at the state fair with her Guernseys.

Her older sister, Marissa, documented her early hours as Princess Kay and posted it to facebook to share with their friends at home.