Julie bids adieu to year as a Rose
Sligo Rose, Julie Patterson has paid a heartfelt tribute to her family, friends and supporters as the year of her title comes to an end.
Speaking to The Sligo Champion who initially sponsored her at the local selection event, Julie said: "As my year as the Sligo Rose draws to a close, I would like to say a final word of thanks to everyone who supported me at any stage along my journey.
"I have had the most incredible year representing Sligo locally, nationally and internationally on occasions.
"Having been selected in June 2018, last summer was a very busy one as I had fun attending many local events such as fashion shows, agricultural shows and charity fundraisers of all sorts.
"Many local businesses kindly sponsored me as I prepared for my journey to Tralee, and once again I extend my sincere thanks to them.
"Last August, I travelled to Kildare where I thoroughly enjoyed the Rose Tour with my fellow Roses.
"The Rose Bus then took all 60 Roses to Kerry for the Rose of Tralee International Festival, which was a once in a lifetime experience and totally unforgettable!
"Having shared the magical experience with fellow Roses and Rose Escorts, I now have friends all over the globe.
"As the year progressed, I have had the opportunity to travel with the Rose family to Christmas Markets in Frankfurt, and walk down Fifth Avenue in the St. Patrick's Day Parade, New York, wearing my Sligo Rose sash with pride.
"Now, as I reflect upon my whirlwind of a year, I feel eternally grateful to have been selected to represent my beautiful home county.
"I am extremely blessed and I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to my family, friends, neighbours and my entire community for all their continuous support.
"I honestly feel so humbled by all the goodwill sent my way and I will never forget that feeling.
"I look forward to passing the Sligo Rose sash onto the next ambassador, to be selected in 2020.
"This summer marks the 60th Anniversary of the Rose of Tralee Festival, and with that bring changes. Sligo will now have a representative every second year. Starting this year, each Rose Centre will select a Rose bi-annually, with the exception of Kerry, Cork and Dublin, as they will select a Rose annually.
"These changes mean that the 32 Roses attending the festival in any given year, are guaranteed a televised interview. For now I leave you with a big heartfelt "Thank You".