Sunday, May 6, 2007

What in the World is Bologna Queen?

What in the world is the bologna queen? and why would any self respecting, educated female desire to gain this label? These are just a few of the questions I hope to answer, and to share my progress toward the prestigious crown, a ring of Yale Bologna.

First a little about me; I am a 39 year old, married mother of one; who has made it her life profession to run an elder care rehab facility in our small burb, known as Yale, Michigan. If you have read my profile, you know that I am all about creating new cultures for elders, and that I live for new ideas and watching those ideas become a reality. So, in light of my "queen" seeking; I am embarking on a new frontier to celebrate, and draw attention to our little town's special event. I hope that this blog, my "my space" and emails are read around the world with curiosity, joy, some puzzlement and most of all that everyone sends in some "$" to help me and my queen mothers gain the much coveted crown!

Like all small rural towns in America, Yale wanted to create a festival that would put it on the "map" and create a tourism boom for the downtown merchants. This festival has been a part of the Yale culture since 1989. This festival, celebrates the rich history of bologna making that Yale is famous for; and the bologna is still made in Yale at CRoy Meats, Inc.

The founders of this festival really had their creative hats on; and that creativity has lead to our festival being one of the most talked about and celebrated events in our region of Michigan. The bologna festival is always held at the end of July, and this year it will be held on July 27, 28, and 29th. The events include everything from outhouse races; a "bologna idol" contest, fireworks, ice cream socials, side walk sales, a huge parade, and community church service. The real highlight of the festival though; is the bologna tent. Patrons can purchase fried Yale bologna sandwiches, Yale bologna hot dogs, or Fried ring bologna on a stick. All of this comes with optional sauerkraut, onions and relish. Most of the bologna tent customers top this meal off with a package of homemade french fries from the Yale Lion's who set up shop across from the bologna tent.

So what about this bologna queen thing? Every year since it's inception, the chamber has challenged community members to run for "king or queen". To run, you simply must declare a desire to make your life crazy for 6 weeks as you raise money to wear the coveted crown, a ring of bologna, and to carry the title bologna queen, or king. If you are not the big money raiser, you earn the distinction of hot dog prince, or princess. How much money are we talking about? My goal is to raise more then 15,000 dollars in six weeks, the six week fund raising starts with the bologna kick of dance in mid June.

So how do you raise the money and what is it used for? The raising of money is designed to start interest in the bologna festival, and to aid in community awareness, celebration and fun for everyone who lives/works in the community. For example I am planning on having "meals" , a dance, auction items donated and by sending this blog/email to everyone who I have in my professional and family network on line. Along with this link, I will be sending up a "pay pal" link asking for anyone who would like to be part of a small town festival, to donate a dollar or two; to the Yale area chamber of commerce in my name for queen.

The money we raise is used for community well being events such as high school scholarships; a lighted Christmas parade, to pay for several really good parade entries; maintaining the welcome to Yale signs, and any other purpose that the Yale Area Chamber of Commerce can come up with.

Watch this site for updates, fun stuff to purchase, and links to the festival activities. I also am going to be using this as part of my master's research on the next generation of communication and marketing.

There also will be pictures shortly, and some bios of the queen mothers. The "queen mothers" are elders who are very excited about being involved in the Bologna Festival, and becoming "queen mums" if I get to wear the crown! We will be looking at the e mails, and maps of where everyone who looks at our blog lives. I have plans to share the updates with my elder friends every week during a "where in the world" activity program.

They still have difficulty imagining that at the push of a button, we can communicate around the world with complete strangers. They are most excited about seeing themselves on line, and sharing the web site with their families who are scattered about the U.S. and overseas.

So, share this site if you have just stumbled upon it; and keep checking in as I progressively get items linked to it, I think it will be a very interesting story when all is said and done~!