Rose of Tralee hopefuls from all over the globe will descend on Portlaoise next month all hoping they can make it to the International Festival in Tralee.
Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh, launched the 2015 Rose of Tralee Regional Festival, last week, in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel.
23 places in the Festival Dome Tralee next August are on the line for the Roses taking part in three selection nights hosted by RTÉ Rose of Tralee Presenter, Dáithí Ó Sé in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel.
It’s the eighth year for Portlaoise to host the Rose of Tralee Regional Festival, which will feature the Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run, Street Party, Outdoor Markets and visits to landmark locations throughout Laois.
The Festival highlights include the official opening of the event in the Civic Plaza on Friday, May 29, Vintage Car Parade of Roses and their Rose Buds followed by Streets Party on Saturday, May 30 and the annual visit to Abbeyleix and Castle Durrow on Sunday, May 31.
The Roses and their families will visit some well-known Laois landmarks such as Castle Durrow, Emo House & Gardens. Local entertainment will also be provided.
The County Manager, Gerry Murphy, said: “The Rose of Tralee Regional Festival is a major tourism event on the Irish Festivals calendar attracting 59 Roses, their families, friends and festival-goers from Ireland and around the world.
“Laois County Council is endeavouring to promote and develop Portlaoise and County Laois as a key events centre in Ireland and this festival has been a major driver of the process since 2008.”
The Executive Chairman of the Rose of Tralee International Festival, Anthony O’Gara, said: “The generous support and commitment of Laois County Council and the people of Laois has seen this event flourish and grow to what is now a major highlight on the Rose of Tralee calendar.
The International Festival will take place in Tralee from Friday 14 to Tuesday 18 August.
Last weekend, the entrants for the this year’s Laois Rose attended their first official engagment in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel for a style briefing evening with advice from some local stylists. It was the first opportunity for this year’s hopefuls to meet with each other and the co-ordinators Anne-Marie Bowe and Bernadette Ryan.
The Roses will head off on the annual bus tour this Saturday, before their big night in the Heritage Hotel on Friday, April 24. See next week’s paper for pictures and profiles of all the Roses.