If the past few years are anything to go by, the sun will shine brightly in Portlaoise at the Rose of Tralee Regional Festival. The festival will hum to the sound of some classic motor engines as the Roses and their Rose Buds enjoy the Rose parade through Portlaoise in vintage cars from the Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Rally, while many more people will enjoy all the fun of the fair in the town centre.
Throughout the weekend, locals and visitors alike are invited to join the Roses as they enjoy some picturesque tourism landmarks, such as Emo House and Castle Durrow. Come and enjoy the Rose selections in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel or the traditional Irish music night in the Maldron Hotel Portlaoise. This event was originally established in 2004 in recognition of the fact that now every county in Ireland selects a Rose and that there are now nearly 70 Rose Centres around the world. The regional festival is therefore the event that has been established to get this number of Roses down to the 32 Roses who appear on the R.T.É television show in August in the Dome in Tralee.
Judges at the regional festival will select Roses from each region who will then go forward to the world famous Rose of Tralee International Festival in Tralee. For many people, it will be their first ever visit to Ireland and everyone in the county is delighted to extend a 'céad míle fáilte' to Laois.