Rose 60th festivities underway

Simon Brouder

This year the Rose of Tralee will celebrate its 60th anniversary, and while the event is still eight months away, the organisers of the world-famous pageant are wasting no time in getting the party started.

This Friday in Dublin the search for the next Rose of Tralee will officially get underway, with reigning Rose Kirsten Mate Maher joining the show's host Dáithí Ó Sé to launch the search for the 2019 Rose of Tralee.

The launch takes place at the Clayton Hotel in Dublin, and a number of past Roses - one from each decade of the festival - will be in attendance.

These past Roses are the first Rose, Alice O'Sullivan, who was crowned in 1959; the 1969 Rose, Cathy Quinn from Dublin; 1979 Rose Marita Marron from Belfast; 1989 Rose Sinéad Boyle from Dublin, 1999 Rose Gerrie O'Grady from Cork and the 2009 winner Charmaine Kenny, who represented London during the festival's 50th  anniversary celebrations a decade ago.