Co. Kerry is calling on all single men between the ages of 21 and 30 to spend a week in Ireland escorting a beautiful lady around Tralee, Co. Kerry where she will compete against 49 other beautiful girls for the title, Rose of Tralee. This year the Rose of Tralee Festival, celebrating 50 years in August, is seeking gentlemen from around the globe to travel to Tralee in August and spend a week escorting beautiful roses to various events as they each endeavor to win the prestigious title of the Rose of Tralee. "Escort positions are not exclusive anymore to Irish men," said Rose of Tralee communications director John Drummy. "To be an escort the gentlemen must be between the ages of 21 and 30, young, free and single during the third week of August 2009," he laughs. Drummy adds that each escort although unattached but must not be "afraid of commitment." It is also a prerequisite that the escort is a "complete gentleman" with a "wicked sense of humor." He must also show good manners and know how to "treat a lady." The Rose of Tralee International Festival,, which is held every year in Tralee, Co. Kerry, is an occasion where young Irish women from all corners of the globe are celebrated. Each of the women represent ambitious, intelligent, social responsibily modern women of today's world who most importantly hold their Irish heritage dear to their hearts. "I believe it is important for the Irish community in New York to know that, despite the recession and all the doom and gloom, we are putting on a party to beat all parties to celebrate 50 years of the Rose of Tralee in August," said Drummy. The event, which was officially launched by Irish television personality Ray D'Arcy in Dublin in January, is this year searching for 50 ladies from around the world to take part in the 2009 Rose of Tralee and 50 men to look after them during their stay. To mark the special event, the very first Rose of Tralee, Alice O'Sullivan who represented Dublin, and the reigning Rose of Tralee, Aoife Kelly from Tipperary, will be very much a part of promoting and celebrating this years festival. O'Sullivan, has vivid memories of the 1959 Festival and she said she hopes to join her fellow winning Roses who have all been invited to take part in the celebrations in Tralee. "Ireland is a totally different place compared to when I took part, as we now see confident women from exotic places and I must admit they are light years away from the appallingly shy 1950s girl that I was," she said. Kelly, the 2008 Rose of Tralee said, "I would encourage any woman to take part as it is an experience of a lifetime, regardless of the outcome." This year's chosen Rose will win prizes worth €25,000. This money will be used to fund a year of travel to promote Ireland and the festival. The lucky winner will also receive the use of a car during her reign, a one of kind tiara made by Newbridge Silverware, a perpetual trophy and a selection of quality gifts from the Newbridge range of jewelry. And not forgetting the escorts, each of the gentlemen will automatically be entered into the prestigious "Escort of the Year Com-petition." The first of the 50 Roses was chosen last week in Arizona. Alexis Hodel, 20 and a full time student pursuing a degree in Kinesiology, has Irish roots in Co. Waterford. In the coming weeks and months another 49 Roses will be chosen to compete in the competition. Interested in being a Rose or an escort? If so, contact the Rose center nearest to you. For further information log onto www.roseoftralee.ie or call the Rose of Tralee Office in Tralee at 011-353-66-7121322. Closing date for receipt of escort application and non-refundable application fee of €25 is Thursday, May 21.
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