This year's Rose Festival hailed as a huge success
ROSE of Tralee 2013 is being hailed as a huge success and a further example of the once troubled festival's continued resurgence.
Some 120,000 people visited Tralee over the last seven days injecting an estimated €7 million plus into the local economy.
Though crowds over the course of this year's extended Gathering festival did not increase massively on last year's event, they were certainly higher. This was especially true over the festival weekend. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were extremely busy in Tralee with businesses, especially pubs and restaurants, doing a roaring trade.
While some events were perhaps not as well attended as expected, notably the ticketed JLS and Stunning concerts on Denny Street, the free family entertainment around town, Birds amusements in particular, attracted huge crowds.
The contentious street bar, set up on Denny street for four hours on Sunday night ahead of the Stunning concert, was run smoothly and there were no problems associated with it, despite pre-festival concerns from some publicans in the town that it could lead to public order problems.
In fact when it came to public order this year's festival has been a remarkably trouble free affair. Senior gardaí reported a quiet festival with only a handful of arrests for minor public order offences. The parades, especially Saturday night's procession, through the town was by far the busiest Rose parade in several years, drawing huge crowds of over 35,000 people who lined Tralee's streets to the Roses, the bands and carnival acts.
Official Rose of Tralee events in the Dome also proved very popular again this year. The €125 a ticket Rose Ball was an 1,100 seat sellout while some 1,600 guests packed the Dome for The Kerryman sponsored fashion show on Sunday night.
In TV terms too Rose of Tralee 2013 can also been seen as a big success. Viewing figures have held up and Monday night's surprise on-stage marriage proposal to New Orleans Rose Molly Molloy-Gambel quickly turned into a viral internet hit, attracting some 70,000 hits on YouTube alone by Tuesday.