Cocktail time for Laois Rose hopefuls Annamae Muldowney, Sarah Bergin and Seoda Fitzgerald Picture: Alf Harvey.
The Laois Rose entrants are in bloom in the run-up to the selection night this month and with only five days left to apply the countdown is on.
A bunch of lovely ladies from all corners of the county have put themselves forward in the hopes of becoming the Laois Rose 2019 and representing the county at the International Rose of Tralee festival in August.
The Laois Rose Centre held a cocktail night on Sunday in Portlaoise for the Rose hopefuls to bond and get to know each other more ahead of the big night in Castle Durrow on April 19 when one of them will be crowned Laois Rose.
As proud local media sponsor of the Laois Rose, some of the hopefuls told the Leinster Express about their experience in the Rose journey so far.
Melissa Glancy from the lovely Luggacurren, Co Laois is 25 years old and is an Irish dancing champion studying to be an Irish dancing teacher.
She applied for the Laois Rose after watching the Rose of Tralee at home last year.
“I am really excited about it, I can't wait to get really into it now. It is great to get out and meet the girls that’s another reason I wanted to do it, I do a lot in my own community in Luggacurrent but it is great to meet people from outside of that Portlaoise, Portarlington, all over so then you have a wide span of friends to talk to, its like a little sisterhood. I am really enjoying it.
“I can’t wait for it to happen now, get into the interviews and go up on stage and be myself, and have fun with it. It’s about having fun, being yourself and having a bit of gallery with everyone,” she said.
Sarah Bergin from Clonad is 21 and is in her final year of studying General Nursing in NUIG.
Sarah travelled from Galway for the cocktail night on Sunday and didn’t get to have a drink as she was driving straight back to the west after for college on Monday morning.
“The girls are so nice everyone is coming in with the same attitude they just want to make friends and have a good experience. We are all starting to click now.
“I have the dress and I’m getting everything sorted now, I'm not going to get to dress up like this until my wedding!
“It is what I expected and more, I didn't expect to be as close to the girls as I am. I know people say you make friends for life but I actually think that is true,” she said.
Mckayla Mulhall from Mountrath is 23 years old and will be bringing her self-taught hair styling skills to the stage at the Laois Rose selection night.
She entered the Rose of Tralee after being inspired by 2014 Rose Maria Walsh.
“As a little girl I always watched it, I remember in 20114 when Maria Walsh was crowned the Rose of Tralee my grandad and I were watching it. My grandad was in a nursing home in 2015 and she came to visit my grandad and when he passed away that year I made him a promise that I would apply for the Rose of Tralee so I was granting that promise either way,” she said.
Applications for the Laois Rose 2019 close this Friday, April 5. This year's Laois Rose is one of 32 roses that will get the full royal treatment in Tralee with a television interview and all the frills. There won't be another Laois Rose until 2021 so now is the time to apply!
Do you know someone who could be the next Laois Rose? Entries are now open! Contact Laois Rose Centre Coordinator Lyn Moloney 0834631611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with the Laois Rose Centre on Facebook.