Rose of Tralee International Festival
THE ROSE OF TRALEE International Festival is one of Ireland's largest and longest running festivals. It is based around the selection of the Rose of Tralee, an international event that encompasses young women of Irish descent from Ireland and around the world.
Every year more than 30 International Roses come to Tralee, supported by friends and family. The Festival comprises Rose of Tralee Selection, family carnival, fashion show and live concerts, in addition to welcoming visitors and delegates from regions worldwide as represented by each Rose. During this time the town's streets are transformed into a feast of parades, music, circus, funfair, markets and traditional Irish entertainment.
All eyes are on the Roses, who travel from the UK, America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East and of course Ireland, to compete for the coveted title of Rose of Tralee (the essence of which is based on the popular song of the same name). The Roses take time to visit various attractions in Tralee and meet Festival goers in the town centre, and can also be seen at any of the three parades that take place during the Festival. The Midnight Madness parade on the final night is led by the newly crowned Rose of Tralee, and followed by a fireworks extravaganza.
The Festival opens with the much anticipated International Gala Rose Ball, accommodating over 900 guests who enjoy a five-course meal, live music, whilst dancing the night away with the International Roses and other distinguished guests. The ever-popular Kerryman/Irish Independent Rose of Tralee Fashion Show is also a Festival highlight, with top name designers and stores showing their new season collections, stunningly presented by models from the Celia Holman Lee Agency.
Anticipation reaches its highest point at the Rose of Tralee Selection on the last two nights of the Festival. Broadcast live by RTÉ from the Festival Dome, this is the moment when television viewers in Ireland, and those around the world watching via the internet, get to see the Roses and try to predict who the judges will choose as Rose of Tralee. Supporters fill the 2,000-seater Dome to capacity, waving banners and shouting for their Rose.
In addition, family entertainment is also provided by Fossetts circus and Birds Fun Fair on the streets of Tralee throughout Festival week, plus live music and the Party With the Roses in the Festival Dome.