The search has officially begun for the premier county's 2016 Rose representative.
And this year the Tipperary Rose is certain of a place in Tralee thanks to a revamped format. The new and improved festival will now see all Rose hopefuls take part in events during the festival in Tralee including parades, the Rose Ball and public engagements.
A pre-recorded episode for RTE featuring all contestants will select the 32 Roses to appear on stage over the two night live event in the Dome.
Guest of honour at the launch was 2015 International Rose Elysha Brennan who was on hand to help jump start the county wide search at the Anner Hotel along with Thurles' own Tipperary Rose Alison Brolan .
Both Roses were in flying form at the launch as they imparted words of wisdom to aspiring applicants. “I tried to make my application a little different so I wrote funny stories about myself. At the selection night the judging panel were able to remember me from my entry form,” said Tipperary Rose Alison.
While 2015 Rose Elysha advises anyone thinking of entering to “just be yourself.” “The festival is quite full on so there's no point pretending to be someone else and remember to enjoy it as well because it goes far too fast.”
Tipperary Rose coordinator Ciarán O Connell say that applications for the competition have doubled in the last two years with organisers anticipating a “record number of entries” this year due to the new look schedule.
A Rose Information evening will take place at the Anner Hotel on Sunday 28th of February from 5pm to 7pm with the selection day scheduled for Saturday, April 2nd. Closing date for entry forms is March 12th and applications can be obtained online at www.roseoftralee.ie/roses