Joanne Palmer: Did I mention the tiara? |

Joanne Palmer: Did I mention the tiara?

Joanne Palmer

Now that the last official firework has fizzled, the parade is over and barbecue grills are cooling, I have only one regret from the Fourth of July.

I have never been a parade queen.

The sad fact is I have never been a homecoming queen, prom queen, rodeo queen or even queen for a day.

I am a queen wannabe.

Think about it. Would you rather spend an hour, say, spot cleaning your carpet or:

Wear a glittering tiara.

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Have subjects (read: children) do your bidding.

Listen to cheers and applause of subjects.

Look sleek and slim in your queen costume.

Ride in the back of a red convertible smiling and waving.

Did I mention the wearing of a tiara? I think I did.

If I was ever lucky enough to reign as queen, I’d be ready to execute “the wave.” A true queen executes the wave in a seemingly effortless manner, but when you break the movement down, it’s not as easy as it looks. The forearm must be held straight. The back and forth rocking movement begins at the elbow and then in a seamless undulating motion progresses up to the wrist.

Let’s try it. Ready?

Elbow, elbow. Wrist, wrist. Repeat. Elbow, elbow. Wrist, wrist.

It’s important not to wave so vigorously that you jostle the tiara.

Did I mention the tiara? I think I did.

There is just one instance where I would be willing to forgo the queen title and settle for princess.

Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

I am dead serious. This is a tradition that has been going on since 1954 when Eleanor Maley was crowned as the first Minnesota dairy princess.

Princess Kay of the Milky Way reigns supreme for 12 full days at the Minnesota State Fair. The first official duty of the newly crowned princess is to bundle up in warm clothes and step into a freezing cold custom-made refrigerator to have her likeness sculpted in a 90-lb block of Grade A salted butter.

The ultimate honor.

For almost two weeks, the princess and the 12 finalists -all carved out of butter – spin in a refrigerated display case in the Dairy Pavilion for passerbys to admire. I have traveled from Steamboat Springs to Minneapolis to pay homage to the princess in all her golden buttery glory and it’s worth the trip. At the end of the state fair, the butter bust of the princess is packed in a box and sent home with her.


Even though I am a big fan of butter, and I’m sure I could wax poetic about all things dairy my dream of being crowned Princess Kay of the Milky Way will have to shelved. Sadly, my schedule and my advanced years does not allow me to compete for all of the fun queen titles out there like Miss Olathe Sweet Corn or Miss Fluffy Rice. I’m going to have to follow in the royal footsteps of author Jill Connor Browne creator of The Sweet Potato Queens and develop my own queen character that represents Steamboat Springs.

Miss Cow Patty.

Look for me next year wearing a luxurious sequined brown satin dress accented with a bovine-patterned belt and a silver boa. Miss Cow Patty will be carried down Lincoln Avenue on the shoulders of those hunky Rugby players while blowing kisses and doing the wave.

Did I mention the tiara? I think I did.