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Long may the Roses bloom in Tralee

aIT's that time of year again folks. The summer is drawing to a close and the Lovely Girls' competition, otherwise known as the Rose of Tralee, is once more with us. Monday night saw the first gaggle of lovelies strut their stuff under the legendary dome in Tralee. 
 Against all odds, and the dire predictions of its critics, the Rose of Tralee festival is going from strength to strength.Over the years people have ridiculed the whole spectacle, labelling it old-fashioned. Nevertheless it still brings thousands of visitors to The Kingdom each year. Maybe its wholesome and innocent charm is the contest's enduring appeal. Maybe the cringe-worthy singing and dancing routines help. Whatever the reason, the viewers continue to tune in, often in their hundreds of thousands.