NEXT month is Rose of Tralee Festival time. It is probably the most successful festival in the country and since 1959 has formed the background of the tourism industry in county Kerry.
It has been so successful,it has been copied many times and why not?
It has even bloomed here in Louth, in Dunleer, where they now have their own annual Rose competition.
It may not be as big as the annual shindig down in the Kingdom, but who cares?
Dunleer people don’t like to show off too much anyway.
The winner of the 2011 Dunleer Rose competition is Sarah McCarville who represented Dunleer Centra.
Sarah has just completed her Leaving Certificate and hopes to start her music studies at Maynooth university in September.
Sarah was one of nine girls who took part in the competition.
All of nine girls who took part in the competition represented a business in the village of Dunleer.
“We had a great night and all of the girls looked stunning,” said committee member and founder of the competition Louise Clarke.
“I came up with the idea of holding the Dunleer Rose festival four years ago,” said Louise.
“I approached a number of people and told them about my idea and then we formed a committee.
“We can honestly say that it’s becoming bigger and better every year.
“Its great fun organising an event like this and it’s a great way for the businesses in Dunleer to promote their enterprise and the town.”
There was lots of variety entertainment on the night of the competition: tin whistle, singing and reciting poetry.
“The 2010 Dunleer Rose winner Kelly McCourt also entertained the large crowed with two songs before handing over the beautiful Tiara to the newly crowned rose for 2011 Sarah McCarville,” said Louise.
“Sarah will have a number of duties to carry out as our new crowned Dunleer Rose for 2011.
“These will include switching on the Christmas lights and leading next year’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade through the town.
“I would like to say a big thank you to Alan Sherman for hosting the festival and all the staff of Sherman’s pub.
“Also I would like to thank my husband Mark Clarke for all his help and support and compare Mark McArdle, the Dunleer Rose committee and the judges.
“And I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has offered their help and services in any way.
“Without them this wonderful event would not have been possible at all.
“We begin looking for roses in May I would like to encourage any girl or any business willing to put forward a candidate to contact me on 086 -31589132 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
“And just remember that each girl wishing to take part in the competition must be over the age of 18,” said Louise.