It may seem like only yesterday when the county was glued to their TV screens watching Sinéad Fennell in the Dome at the Rose of Tralee festival, but later this week, the Laois Rose for 2012 will be crowned.
A record number, this year 20 girls will be hoping to take the sash from the current Laois Rose in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel, this Sunday night (March 18).
Last month, the Roses got to know one another as they travelled the county on a mini Rose Tour, the first of many for the future Laois Rose.
But the incoming Rose will have high heels to fill, as Sinéad made a fantastic ambassador for the county both at the Regional Festival, which was held in Portlaoise last June and at the International Rose of Tralee festival.
Laois Rose co-ordinator, Sharon Preston said Sunday night will be a bittersweet.
“Sinéad has been phenomenal. She has really built up the Laois Rose profile. Everyone liked her instantly, she was so natural and personable. She has been a great ambassador for us.”
Sinead’s supporters made sure that Tralee would never forget them.
“Laois flags covered a whole section of the crowd during the Rose parade along Main Street in Tralee, I couldn’t believe it when I saw it, ” Sharon said.
“It’s a bittersweet time for me, as I will be sorry to see Sinead hand over her sash, but I’m also excited to meet the new girls.”
It will be a long day on Sunday for the 20 contestants, as they have an early morning appointment with the hair stylists and make up team from Bankz Hair and Beauty. After that, it will be over to the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel where the girls will meet the dreaded judges for the first time as they have both individual and group interviews. There will be some downtime for the girls later in the evening before they take to the stage with host Brendan Hennessy.
The next time the chosen Rose will see the stage in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel over the June Bank Holiday. She will by vying to make it a hattrick of appearances for the famous blue and white in the Dome.