Thursday 18 July 2019

Louth's next Rose won't bloom until the 2020 festival

Olivia Ryan

It will be 2020 before Louth will again be represented at the Rose of Tralee festival, with changes to the format taking effect this year.

The 2018 Louth Rose, who has just ended her reign, confirmed the changes will mean that the wee county will only take part in the internationally renowned festival every second year.

'There were some changes announced last year by the Rose of Tralee, which mean that Louth will have to wait until next year to take part,' said AnnMarie.

The rotation of counties, and indeed international contestants may leave Louth without any local interest this year.

But, as the former Rose explained the new system will also mean that Louth is guaranteed a 'television Rose' in 2020.

'Last year, all Roses went to Tralee, and got to enjoy the atmosphere and events in the week running up to it. But on the Saturday before the televised finals were broadcast on Monday and Tuesday nights, we were all together when we had been told who had made it through.'

There was some disappointment for AnnMarie who didn't make it through to the on stage interviews, but she added: 'The entire experience of taking part, and all the incredible people I have met just made it for me.'

Among the highlights of her year were the trip to New York (above) where she joined fellow Roses taking part in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, and the live changing experience of travelling to Belarus with Chernobyl Children International.

'It was just a really fantastic experience for me overall, and I'm sure there are many weddings I'll be going to as I made so many friends!'

Despite having handed over her sash, AnnMarie will be on hand to present the crown to the next Louth Rose when the competition gets underway in Spring 2020.

'Hopefully we will have even more entries next year!'

The Argus