Rose of Tralee Beauty Contest

Rose of Tralee Beauty Contest

Last full weekend in August
The village of Tralee in County Kerry is famous for a festival that is unique in Ireland: the annual beauty contest for the "Rose of Tralee." Held during a long weekend in late August, the festivities begin with the playing of a harp by a woman belonging to a Kerry family in which harp-playing has been a traditional occupation for generations. There are also horse races and competitions in singing, dancing, and storytelling, but it is the beauty contest that draws the most attention. Contestants come from Ireland, Britain, the United States, and even Australia, although the winner must be of Kerry descent.
The Rose of Tralee, a popular Irish ballad, was written by William Pembroke Mulchinock, who lived just outside the village of Tralee and fell in love with a girl who was a servant in one of the nearby houses. To put a stop to the relationship, his family sent him to India, where he served as a soldier for three years. He returned to Tralee just in time to see the funeral procession of the girl he loved, who had died of a broken heart. In the public park just outside of Tralee there is a memorial to the ill-fated lovers.
CONTACTS:
Rose of Tralee
Ashe Memorial Hall, Denny St.
Tralee, County Kerry Ireland
353-66-7121322; fax: 353-66-7122654
www.roseoftralee.ie
SOURCES:
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 114
IntlThFolk-1979, p. 236
References in periodicals archive ?
They then decided to salvage what was left of their holiday by heading to Co Kerry for the Rose of Tralee beauty contest instead.