The Sixth Annual Strawberry Picking Challenge to benefit the Redlands Christian Migrant Association will take place in Plant City on Saturday, February 9.

It is finally strawberry season and residents are invited to get their hands on some of the delicious fruit for a great cause this month. The Sixth Annual Strawberry Picking Challenge, presented by Monte Packaging, will take place at Fancy Farms in Plant City on Saturday, February 9, and local strawberry lovers can help Florida’s migrant children while having fun.

According to Amber Maloney, Director of Marketing with Plant City’s Wish Farms, strawberry growers from all over Florida participate in the fun challenge where corporate teams pick fruit in a relay-style race.

“This event brings the industry together to celebrate and appreciate those who harvest our fruit,” said Maloney. “It is a very special event that is memorable for all those who attend.”

Thanks to the sponsors, the event is free to the general public who can purchase U-pick strawberries for $5 a quart. All money raised is donated to the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA), a Florida non-profit that works with more than 6,000 children in 20 Florida counties. The event raised $100,000 for RCMA in 2018 and in five years has donated $428,000 for the charity, which focuses on serving the children of Hispanic immigrants.

“While the Strawberry Picking Challenge has grown every year, the heart of the event is simple,” said Maloney. “Bring the community together for a day of fun in the field to recognize our valued farm workers.”

Entertainment at the event includes a face painter, balloon artist, Home Depot-sponsored wood work station for kids, coloring station, cornhole, hula hoop, DJ and strawberry shortcake eating contest. The Plant City singing group NRG will also perform on stage.

Teams for the challenge will include the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue. There will also be a fire truck on-site for children to explore.

“The event is a wonderful way to bring the community together to celebrate the strawberry season and enjoy a day on the farm, all for a good cause,” said Maloney.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

The celebration will take place on Saturday, February 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fancy Farms is located at 3536 Dutch Loop in Plant City. For more information, call 752-5111 or visit To learn more about RCMA, visit

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.