The Rose of Tralee International Festival has been canceled for the first time in its 61-year history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The festival was due to take place in Tralee, Co Kerry from August 21 - 25, but organizers decided to scrap it in what they described as "the right decision." 

The popular festival is set to take place again in August 2021. 

The festival made the announcement on the Rose of Tralee website and said that it was not possible to safely hold it in the midst of a global pandemic. 

"Over the past few weeks, our team have been considering how best we could deliver some, or all, of our 2020 Festival events," the statement read. 

"Taking into account government guidelines, the safety of our communities and the ability to deliver a wonderful Festival; we have decided to postpone our 2020 festival until August 2021. 

"This is the first time in our history that the Festival has been postponed, but it is the right decision as we all play our part right now in keeping each other safe and well." 

Read More: WATCH: Limerick Rose named as the 2019 Rose of Tralee

Festival organizers also said that the Rose of Tralee will continue to support charitable efforts around Ireland and in Irish communities around the world over the next 12 months. The organizers paid tribute to healthcare workers around the world who continued to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"In the meantime, we salute the leadership and the selfless efforts of frontline and support staff everywhere, and among them many of our Roses, Rose Escorts and wider Rose family, including our 2019 Rose of Tralee, Dr. Sinead Flanagan. 

The Rose of Tralee is an extremely popular festival held annually in Tralee, Co Kerry. Every year, the festival crowns one woman representing a county in Ireland or an Irish community abroad as its Rose. The winners are not chosen on looks but on personality and suitability to serve as ambassadors for the festival and for Ireland. 

Read more: Irish Waterford Rose Kirsten Mate Maher wins the 2018 Rose of Tralee

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