Roll on the Rose - By Guest Blogger Brian Hurley
So it’s only been three days since my last guest blog but what a few days it has been. On Friday last the Carlton Hotel officially became the home of the Rose of Tralee International Festival as 32 Roses from all over the World arrived in Tralee. The red carpet was in place at the entrance steps of the hotel, champagne on ice and a live jazz band struck up an upbeat rendition of the Rose of Tralee song. The Escorts and Rose Buds formed a line on either side of the red carpet for the Roses big entrance. General Manager of the Carlton Tralee, Denis Deery and Rose of Tralee Nicola McEvoy greeted each Rose as they entered the lobby to massive cheers of support from loved ones and supporters, with this grand entrance, the festival was officially under way. What ensued can only be described as pure magic and unique to The Rose of Tralee International Festival and the town of Tralee.
On the site of the Hotel a massive temporary structure ‘The Dome’ had been erected and fully equipped to cater for the Rose Ball which was to take place on Friday evening. The Rose Ball is a Black Tie event as can easily be described as one of the social highlights of the year in Tralee, as well over a thousand people dressed up in tuxedo’s and dazzling ball gowns and were wined, dined and entertained into the wee hours of Saturday morning. Fashion Designers, TV Stars, Ambassadors, Government Ministers, Roses and Escorts were all in attendance and a great night was had by all. You could even say they had a ball!
After a quick snooze we were all set for the following day ahead as we provided some T.L.C for those weary heads from the night before. Before we knew it was time to get our hotel Mascot ’Bruno the Dog’ ready to march through the town as part of the official parade in front of thousands of onlookers. Honestly I think Bruno had a hug for everyone and the free sweets really did help. After the parade which is something similar the Rio Carnival we headed back to witness the Coronas entertain a packed crowd in the Dome followed by a disco.
On Sunday we went loopy! Yes the air display saw daredevil pilots manage all types of manoeuvres over the hotel to the delight of young and old alike. It was all glam again by the afternoon as the fashion show was a massive success helped by the fact that world renowned designer and Kerry man, Don O Neill was at hand to show us some of the latest collections. Its Monday now and the TV show hasn’t even happened yet. We are promised a few surprises and a new RTE stage is ready for Daithi and the Roses. As a Tralee man I am delighted to say that, this festival of ours, is an amazing event which is open to all and the Carlton Group are delighted to be a sponsor and to play an integral part in its success. Roll on the rest of the Rose.