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Muddy madness at St. Paul Park Heritage Days Royal Mud Stomp (W/VIDEO)

Shortly after this picture was taken, Miss Heritage Days Haley Sklenar's (center) hand decorated T-shirt was no longer white during the Royal Stomp held Thursday night. Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner2 / 2

The madness starts with seemingly endless rolls of duct tape to secure shoes, vintage clothes, old prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses that were only worn once, hand decorated T-shirts and foam tiaras to replace their royal crowns.

Add the 2011-12 Heritage Days royalty, more than 200 visiting royalty from cities as far away as Montgomery, Minn., and some mud - lots of mud - and you have the Royal Mud Stomp, the messy annual event that kicks off Heritage Days at the mud volleyball courts in St. Paul Park. Now the Royal Mud Stomp is used to prepare the courts for Heritage Days' mud volleyball tournament.

In past years, actual mud volleyball games were played during the Royal Stomp but as more and more royalty wanted to be part of the kickoff, there were too many young women to play.

So now everyone just gets in the courts and volleyballs sail back and forth as the queens and princesses try to coat each other with mud.

Afterward, all of that duct tape is removed and the royals rinse off. They may never wear their soiled clothes again - unless they attend another Royal Mud Stomp.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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