Rose of Tralee

The Rose of Tralee, also known as the Festival of Kerry, usually begins the 3rd or 4th weekend in August. It starts on a Friday and runs through to the following Tuesday night. Those 5 days are jam-packed with many attractions, activities, and some free outdoor entertainment.

Who can enter the Rose of Tralee?

Ladies, with Irish ancestry, from all over the world enter a competition to represent their own state, county, or country. The winner of those competitions comes to Tralee to compete in the overall Rose of Tralee hoping to be crowned the winner. It is not by any means a beauty pageant.

satellite orbiting the earth

Who does the TV Broadcasting at Rose of Tralee?

RTE broadcast the final all over the world on a Monday and Tuesday evening during the Rose of Tralee Festival. When the overall winner is chosen, she is given the tiara of the Rose of Tralee and there is a firework display at 12:00 midnight.

The band Oracle at the Rose of Tralee
Aslan in Denny Street at the Rose of Tralee

Where are the Concerts at Rose of Tralee?

Every year, there are indoor and outdoor concerts. I love outdoor concerts because they are usually free. In 2019 the outdoor concerts include performers such as Derek Ryan, The Hothouse Flowers, and Aslan. Homegrown talent will also be playing. They erect a Dome during the Rose of Tralee so they can have indoor concerts and discos. In 2019, the main indoor concert is Abbaesque – an ABBA tribute band.

Rose Ball at the Rose of Tralee in Kerry
Rose Ball at the Rose of Tralee

What is the Rose Ball?

The Rose Ball is held every year in the Dome. You will have an opportunity to meet the Roses and a few other celebrities. It is a great night to be had by all. It is really popular and everyone should try to go at least once

Is there a Fashion at Rose of Tralee?

A large fashion show takes place in the Dome during the festival. It is hugely popular and attracts a lot of ladies and gentlemen alike to see the latest fashions.

Birds Amasements at the Rose of Tralee
Birds Amasements

Is there Amusements at Rose of Tralee?

Birds amusements will keep children and adults alike happy for hours on end. They arrive after Puck Fair has finished.  When I was a child, I loved going along to the amusements. It was by far my favourite part of the festival.

Fossett's Circus at the Rose of Tralee
Fossett Circus

Circus at Rose of Tralee?

Each year Fossett’s Circus comes to town during the Rose of Tralee. It will be great family fun for the kids. You will gasp with their death-defying daredevils and meet the funny clown called “Otto”.

Stunt Shows

The Festival Organisers get some sort of Stunt Show to perform in town. In 2019 it will be the Quad Bike stunt show. Last year it was small cars (old Mini’s) doing a course which the cars had to reverse into a space, do handbrake turns into another space, etc… The quickest car won.

A cat entered into the Nose of Tralee

What is the Nose of Tralee?

People can enter their pets into the Nose of Tralee competition. All different pets can compete whether they be dogs, cats, hamsters, etc. People vote via Facebook and the pet with the most votes wins. The competition is open to all of Ireland, you do not have to be living in Kerry to enter.

Some of the attractions in the Town Park for the kids at Rose of Tralee

10 km run at the Rose of Tralee
10 km run at the Rose of Tralee

Is there a Road Race at Rose of Tralee?

There is a 10 km run each year during the Festival. It usually takes place on a Sunday. It is not a requirement to run the 10 km, some people just compete for the fun of it, you can either run, jog or walk. It can be more of a social outing for some people more than anything else.

Setting up the stalls at the Rose of Tralee Festival
Stalls at the Rose of Tralee Festival

Open Air Trading & Food Stalls

Traders set up stalls along both sides of the main street. You literally can find anything and everything from toys to jewelry, clothing, and footwear to name just a few. Personally, I love looking at the wide variety of artwork, pottery, and glassware that people have on display to sell. There is such a fantastic variety of different types of cuisine from Asian to Chinese and Indian plus not forgetting my old favourite, burgers & chips. The street market goes on for the whole of the week.

What is a Rose Escorts?

A male escort is assigned to accompany each Rose throughout the festival for all official events.

A sad lucking dog

Dog Show

There is a dog show in the town park. It is very competitive as you can imagine. People will wash, blow-dry, and cut their dog’s hair to have the dog nice and pristine for the show. They really go all out to win the prize.

Rosebuds symbolising the Rose of Tralee Rosebuds

What are Rose Buds in the Rose of Tralee?

Finally, there is a Rose Buds competition. The competition is for young girls from 8 to 12 years old. For every rose there will be a Rose Bud. When the Rose of Tralee is announced the Rosebud that is assigned to that Rose will win as well.

Rose of Tralee committee website

Check out my web pages on the Ring of Kerry Drive, The Skellig Ring and Slea Head Drive.