The Rose of Tralee International Festival

Posted by Neil Hand on the 8th of August 2014 at 10:00:32

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It’s that time of the year again folks! Rose of Tralee fever is building up!

For 5 days in August, the town of Tralee in County Kerry becomes a ball of activity and energy, as the annual Rose of Tralee International Festival rolls into town once more. It is a great spectacle to behold and a fantastic opportunity for holidaymakers to get down there and soak up the atmosphere.

What is the Rose of Tralee?

The focus of the festival is to crown a ‘Rose of Tralee’ for the year. The winning rose will represent the festival, Tralee and Ireland in an ambassadorial capacity until the next rose is crowned the following year.

The contest to crown the Rose of Tralee involves conversations and performances with and by each Rose, which helps the judging panel decide which has the best personality and would best represent the festival for the following 12 months.

Now known as the Rose of Tralee International Festival, the scale and volume of people involved in the celebrations would bring a wide smile to the organisers of the first event. It runs for 5 days now in total, and is being held between the 15thand the 19thof August.

The Rose of Tralee festival was first held in 1959, and has grown exponentially in the years to date. The idea for the festival came about from the song ‘The Rose of Tralee’, by William Mulchinock, a 19th Century merchant who fell in love with the daughter of his family’s maid, Mary O’Connor.

The first festival included Roses (the name given to entrants to the contest) from Tralee, London, Dublin, Birmingham & New York. Originally, each Rose had to be a native of Tralee. This was relaxed in the early sixties to Kerry natives, and by 1967 “Irish birth or ancestry” became the criterion for entry.

The 2014 festival kicks off with a food market in Tralee and for five days, the events continue back-to-back, finishing up with the Rose Disco on the final night for a rousing send-off. Aside from the obvious main attraction of the festival, the Rose of Tralee ceremony, the UK pop sensation Union J, of X Factor fame, will wow the crowds on the first night of the festival.

With the festival taking place over 5 full days, there will be plenty of time for you to dip in and out of the festivities, and also to take in some of the other wonderful attractions Tralee and Kerry have to offer.

Kerry is one of the most scenic and beautiful counties in Ireland. The Ring of Kerry, Dingle peninsula and Killarney National Park can all be enjoyed a short drive’s distance away. Come to Tralee and enjoy the festivities, but be sure to take a break from the action and experience the natural beauty of Kerry too.

If you’d like to make it to the Rose of Tralee festival this year or next year, or would like information on tours of Kerry and Ireland beyond, contact us today!

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