Thursday, April 26, 2018
News Roundup

Strawberry Festival queen continues pageant legacy

PLANT CITY — Adding another sparkle to her rich family legacy, 17-year-old Chelsea Bowden won the regal jewels and sash of Florida Strawberry Festival queen at the annual pageant Jan. 28.

Bowden, a Durant High senior, follows her two grandmothers in wearing the crown: Barbara Bowden held the coveted title in 1948, and Ruby Jean Redman in 1953.

The daughter of Bud and Pam Bowden, Chelsea Bowden is captain of the varsity volleyball team, and she participates in Leo Club, student government and the National Honor Society. She intends to study nursing at a four-year university.

Other pageant winners include first maid Calli Jo Parker, a Hillsborough Community College freshman, and court members Olivia Higgins, a homeschooled senior; Erica Kelley, a Hillsborough Community College freshman; and Chelsea Talavera, a Plant City High junior. The queen and her court received college scholarships and savings bonds among other gifts.

The pageant was sponsored by the Plant City Lions Club. Five out-of-town judges from considered 27 contestants on personal interviews, public speaking, casual wear and evening gown competitions.

The 77th annual Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City runs March 1 through 11. For more information on tickets and events, go to flstraw berryfestival.com or call (813) 752-9194.

Stephanie Wang, Times staff writer

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