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Mayor of Tralee, Johnnie Wall welcomes the Roses to the Tralee Wetlands Centre on Saturday. INSET: Toronto Rose Máire Dineen with Muireann Hussey with Kilflynn at the Centre. Credit: Photo by Domnick Walsh

Mayor of Tralee, Johnnie Wall welcomes the Roses to the Tralee Wetlands Centre on Saturday. INSET: Toronto Rose Máire Dineen with Muireann Hussey with Kilflynn at the Centre. Credit: Photo by Domnick Walsh

Mayor of Tralee, Johnnie Wall welcomes the Roses to the Tralee Wetlands Centre on Saturday. INSET: Toronto Rose Máire Dineen with Muireann Hussey with Kilflynn at the Centre. Credit: Photo by Domnick Walsh

THERE was great excitement in the Wetland's Centre last Saturday as four of this year's Roses battled it out to become the 'Rose of Tralee International Pedal Boat World Champion'.

The Southern California and Washington Roses paired up, racing against the Texas and Boston and New England Roses.

The crowd cheered for their favourite Roses, joined by their escorts (who did all the hard work) and in the end it was the Southern California and Washington Rose who claimed the much coveted title.

Erin Kelley, the Southern California Rose expressed how much fun she has been having as part of the Festival. "It's been absolutely amazing, so much more than I ever expected. I didn't mind getting into the water it was great fun. The escorts did great - we were really just cheering them on," she said.

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Washington DC Rose, Lissa Bramley really enjoyed the pedal boat race and was dying to get into the water. "The race was really great 'craic' as you all say. I was so excited to get into the water; I am not usually too girly so that was right up my alley. I am having a really great weekend. The people of Tralee and Kerry are so kind, and are really making the weekend memorable," Lissa said.

Seven-year-old Ellie McGrath from Dublin got to meet the Roses at the Wetlands Centre. Ellie's parents Mag and Rory are originally from Castleisland. Ellie was especially excited to meet the Washington DC Rose. "It was great to see the Roses. I was able to get their autographs and they were really nice. I met the Washington Rose and I told her that my auntie is moving to Washington in a couple of weeks. It was cool to meet her; she said she would be telling people that she met me."


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