The search is on across the county, once again, to find the Laois Rose for 2013.
The time has almost come for the current Rose, Niamh Bracken to hand over her sash and crown, as the Rose journey begins again on Friday, April 5. Niamh will be in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel on April 5 to sadly handover her sash to the incoming Rose.
“Niamh has been a wonderful ambassador for Laois and has really shown the county to it’s fullest potential,” Laois Rose co-ordinator Sharon Preston said.
“I had tears in my eyes as she made her speech in the Civic Plaza at the Regional Finals last June. She was just so elegant and poised and spoke so well.”
Sharon continued: “The Laois Rose selection night is always a bittersweet night for me, I will be sad to say goodbye to Niamh having worked so closely with her for the last year, but I am looking forward to getting to know this year’s girls.”
Although there was no trip to Tralee for Niamh this year, Sharon is still delighted with how the year went.
“Niamh has been great all year, she has brought a lot of excitement and interest back to the festival.
“We’ve been very lucky with our Roses over the last few years, they’ve all been fantastic. Each year the girls are stepping into big shoes but they’ve all exceeded any expectations I might have for the year.”
In 2011, Laois was represented in Tralee by Graiguecullen girl, Sinead Fennell and before that Bernadette Ryan lead the parade to Tralee.
But before Tralee, this year’s Rose must first be selected at the Regional Finals, which will once again be held in Portlaoise over the June Bank Holiday weekend.
Once again interest in the competition is huge, and Sharon already has a number of entrants lined up and hopes to get a few more over the next few weeks. And for anyone interested in becoming the next Laois Rose, Sharon already has a busy itinerary planned out.
Last year, a record 22 girls took to the stage in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel
First event for the Laois Rose hopefuls will be the Laois Rose Tour, which was very successful last year. The Roses will be escorted around the county by the Laois Civil Defence. Anyone who would like the Roses to visit their event or organisation should contact Sharon.
The day of selection begins with hair appointments for all the ladies. Followed by individual interviews, group interviews and stage rehersals, before they are allowed home to relax and prepare for the live stage interviews later that night. But it will be all worth it for the chance to be crowned Laois Rose. Party pieces are optional.
Once again, compere Brendan Hennessy will be on hand to make the girls feel at home on stage. And the party will continue long after the 2013 Rose has been crowned with DJ, PJ Dempsey.
The identity of the judges is always kept under wrapped until the day of adjudication.
As always Sharon is grateful to the sponsors Bankz Hair and Beauty, Portlaoise Heritage Hotel, Leinster Express and El Chic.
“Our sponsors and supporters are so generous every year, it really would not be possible without their support,” Sharon added.