For the newly-crowned 2013 Florida Strawberry Festival queen, sweetness paid off in a big way.
Plant City native Kelsey Fry, 17, a senior at Plant City High School, was named queen of the 78th Annual Florida Strawberry Festival. In addition, earlier in the competition, she was voted "Most Courteous" by her fellow contestants.
It was big night for Fry, who wiped tears from her eyes after the Plant City Lions Club-sponsored pageant held in front of about 1,600 people at the festival grounds auditorium. As a drove of photographers backed off, Fry took a second to take in the moment.
"I'm just amazed. This is the first pageant like this I've ever done. I was waiting for the other girls' names to be called. I can't believe it was my name they announced," said Fry, standing in front of her throne shortly after she was announced the winner by emcees 2006 Strawberry Queen Hanna Benton and radio personality Skip Mahaffey.
Behind Fry, the rest of the final five contestants who will make up her court for 2013 – Madison Astin, Jamee Townsend, Maddy Keene and runner-up First Maid Ericka Lott – applauded as Fry accepted a bouquet of flowers, her crown and tiara.
Among her awards, Fry will receive a $1,000 college scholarship from the Lions Club; a $1,200 scholarship from the Strawberry Festival; and $250 for winning "Miss Congeniality."