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Rose of Tralee Press Release: May 30th, 2023

The Rose of Tralee International Festival have been in discussion with local partners over the past six months to advise them that responsibility for the delivery of future festivals needed to be rebalanced and placed on a broader local platform. The festival has now decided to pass the organisation of the street’s events back to Tralee town, with a commitment to provide any support and advice required to allow a smooth transition. 

The cost of running the Festival has been increasing exponentially but financial support has not increased over the past ten years.

This move provides an opportunity to enhance and develop the streets festival which can best be activated through community ownership. This repositioning should facilitate better corporate and local support and strengthen the event’s capacity to gain a fairer share of tourism and arts grants.

Announcing further changes following feedback from the community in Tralee, Festival attendees and stakeholders, the Festival has confirmed that it is discontinuing the Rose Ball and instead is planning a new, more affordable and accessible community event, providing local people with an opportunity to meet and to celebrate with the Roses, their families and supporters at this year’s Festival in August.

A move to a new intimate gala event is planned for the Sunday afternoon of the festival; details to follow.

Anthony O’Gara, executive chairman, has said that the festival team remain passionate about the event, its proud history and heritage. It provides a unique platform for connecting the global Irish community through the celebration of exceptional Irish women. He looks forward to focusing on core responsibilities, including centres development, hospitality for Roses, Centres, and families, community events rollout, the RTÉ live broadcast and the promotion of Tralee and of County Kerry.

He is confident that Tralee People will rise to the challenge provided by this opportunity, and that their involvement will enhance the festival, reflecting the respect and esteem in which the event is held locally, for its service to Tralee, to Kerry and to our international diaspora. 

Finally, Mr. O’Gara said that he was delighted to confirm that the Rose of Tralee selections will be broadcast live from MTU’s Kerry sports academy again this year.

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