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Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017
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Festival queen's court members becoming fast friends

PLANT CITY - Florida Strawberry Festival queen's court members say they are looking forward to their roles at the upcoming celebration of the area's most famous crop. First Maid Ericka Lott, Madison Astin, Maddy Keene and Jamee Townsend say they are bonding since the Jan. 26 pageant, where Kelsey Fry was crowned as queen. "I think it's a dream team of girls this year," said Townsend, who said she loves being part of such a longstanding Plant City tradition. Townsend grabbed a slice of pageant history as the first Strawberry Crest High School student named to the queen's court. The school opened in 2009 in Dover.
Fry said she "feels so blessed," that they will all share the experience. Fry and her court members will appear at many events, from festival parades to contests. They'll also get to introduce headline acts, a role that they all relish. Keene and Lott say they most look forward to being on stage with Blake Shelton; Townsend looks forward to seeing Martina McBride and Astin's favorite is Hunter Hays, followed by Scotty McCreery. They are also looking forward to the carnival rides and the smorgasbord of foods the festival offers. Their favorites? Keene likes funnel cakes, Townsend loves the corn dogs, Lott prefers chocolate-covered bacon and strawberries and Astin likes the fried cheese sticks. Here's a look at each of the members of the court:

dnicholson@tampatrib.com (813) 394-5103
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