Rose of Tralee finalists are sitting pretty
The Rose of Tralee garden is now full, as all of the finalists have been selected after the last ever regional competition in the festival’s 56-year history.
RTÉ presenter and Rose of Tralee host Dáithí Ó Sé had the unenviable task of grilling 56 roses from all around the world at the annual regional final competition in Portlaoise over the bank holiday weekend. As the five-day event drew to a close, the lengthy list of ladies representing countries from across Europe, the Middle East and America was whittled down to just 23 entrants after a series of interviews on stage across three nights. They will now be joined on stage in Tralee for the grand final by Roses from Kerry, Dublin and Cork, as well as six Roses from Australia and New Zealand.
The grand final is televised live from the Dome in Tralee over two nights and is part of a long weekend of festivities which kicks off on August 14. This is the final year that entrants will have to participate in the regional heats, as organisers recently announced their plans to expand the competition across three nights to accommodate 70 roses next year. It was also announced that the parents of the late Dorothy Henggeler, the 2011 Washington Rose, had purchased the Fels Point Hotel in Tralee, the home of the festival.