By Lauren McNair

Ally Elizabeth Burt was crowned queen of the 83rd Florida Strawberry Festival at the annual pageant in Plant City.

Burt was selected from a field of 28 contestants who also voted her Miss Congeniality. Dallas Baker was chosen first maid along with court members Baylee Astin, Selena Berrios and Zoe Rasmussen.

“I want to serve with humility,” said Burt. “The spotlight won’t be on me; it will be on the festival.”

Burt is the daughter of Royce and Raquel Burt. She is currently a senior at Seffner Christian Academy and is dual enrolled at Hillsborough Community College. Burt serves as senior class president and Student Government president. She plans to attend a Florida university to pursue a degree in biology.

The Florida Strawberry Festival Queen’s Competition is organized by the Plant City Lions Club and is composed of five facets of competition: a personal interview, on-stage speaking, casual wear, evening wear and an impromptu question.

Throughout the year, the queen and court make over 80 appearances as they represent the Florida Strawberry Festival and the Plant City community. They can be seen at festival events throughout the grounds, on stage before each of the 24 headline entertainment shows and at community events throughout the year.

“Our new queen and court seem like a group of kind, poised, well-spoken young ladies,” said Florida Strawberry Festival President Paul Davis. “I have no doubt they will represent us well this year.”

The Florida Strawberry Festival is an 11-day community event celebrating the strawberry harvest of Eastern Hillsborough County. Each year, over 500,000 visitors enjoy the headline entertainment, youth livestock shows, commerce exhibits, and of course, its strawberry shortcake. The 2018 Florida Strawberry Festival, where we’re ‘Building New Memories!,’ takes place from March 1-11 in Plant City. For more, visit www.flstrawberryfestival.com, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (#berryfest18).