Rose before Bros: The Rose of Tralee wants Rose Escorts

The annual festival wants 65 man to take part in the 2017 event in Kerry

Rose before Bros: The Rose of Tralee wants Rose Escorts

[Rose of Tralee]

The Rose of Tralee festival in on the hunt for the kind of man who knows how to put his Rose before bros, with suitable gentlemen invited to become escorts at the annual event.

The festival takes its name from a 19th-century love song, which is why the reigning Rose, Maggie McEldowney, and Rose Escort of the Year, John Slowey, are using Valentine’s Day to launch the search for the men who could play a pivotal role in this year’s festival.

Running from August 16th to 22nd, the closing date for applications, which can be made here, is March 16th.

What does a Rose Escort do?

The job of the escort at the Rose festival is to ensure that his Rose, foreign or domestic, has an unforgettable and stress-free experience. The successful candidates will first take part in a team-building boot camp in June in Kerry, while also taking part in the Gala Rose Ball and parades. It promises to be a week full of entertainment and memories.

“The Rose Escort is comic relief, the heart and soul of the festival which would not be as successful or such a brilliant time without the Rose Escorts,” said Maggie McEldowney. “They bring laughter and energy to the next level, and their support and companionship during the very busy days is so appreciated by the Roses.

“There’s just a certain buzz when the Rose Escorts show up. These men are interviewed and prepared to ensure their time and talents are well spent during the festival. They are top-class gentlemen, and we are so lucky to have them as part of our festival.”

In order to qualify to be eligible for Escort status, the applicants must...

  • Be male, 21 years of age by 1st January 2017 and not have reached your 31st birthday on or prior to 1st September 2017
  • Be unmarried or never been married
  • Be born in Ireland or of Irish origin by virtue of one of your ancestors having been born in Ireland
  • Be available for Selection events and if selected be available for the International Festival events from 16th to 22nd August 2017 in Tralee
  • Be able to obtain sponsorship of €1,500

One of the 65 men will be named Rose Escort of the Year live on RTÉ One on Monday, August 21st, in the middle of the first night of the final competition.

"Once you are in you don’t want to leave!"

Fermanagh man John Slowey, said: "I had heard that being a Rose Escort was an unforgettable experience and indeed it was that, and a whole lot more. I met 129 other young people - in person - who had the same purpose down there, which was to have as much of a laugh as possible.

“Everyone sees the TV nights but that doesn’t come close to what the week involves. The Rose of Tralee is like a bug, it just grabs a hold of you, once you are in you don’t want to leave!"

Any man willing to try his luck can find more details on the Rose of Tralee website or email for more information.

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