Every Kerryman, at some stage in his life, has considered becoming an Escort at the Rose of Tralee International Festival and this year is no different.

The deadline to find this year’s 32 gentlemen who are the salt of the earth is fast approaching with an opportunity to win a prize valued at €5000 from Newbridge Silverware, the lead sponsors of the Festival.

Aspiring Kerry gentlemen from all walks of life are encouraged to download an application form now from www.roseoftralee.ie, to secure a chance of being there with a Rose at the Festival from 14-20 August 2013.

The 2012 Newbridge Silverware Escort of the Year, Ian Cullinane, said: "Becoming an International Escort at the 2012 Rose of Tralee Festival has proven to be one of the best decisions of my life. Words cannot describe the amount of fun, laughter and once-in-a-lifetime experiences I have gone through as an Escort. It has given me the opportunity to meet so many new and interesting people from all over the world and it is something for which I will always be grateful. Of course, being selected as the Newbridge Silverware Escort of The Year was the perfect end to what was an already unforgettable week at the Festival."

You too could find yourself in Ian’s shoes as one lucky Escort will be unveiled as the 2013 Newbridge Silverware Escort of the Year in front of almost a million TV viewers.

Any gentleman who may have been a Rose Escort at some point in his life will confirm that it is an experience of a lifetime. A number of applicants are even nominated each year by mums, sisters, work or team colleagues as ideal material for the Escort treatment.

“It’s not just about handbag holding and mascara minding – there is a full schedule of summer activity, receptions, parades, parties with the Roses, The Gala Rose Ball, plus a VIP gold plated ticket to all the best events at one of Ireland’s most successful and longest running festivals,” said Escort Co–ordinator, Colm Croffy.

For the past decade or so, Escorts have come from the four provinces, over 21 years of age and younger than 30, but have reflected men from all walks of life with varying backgrounds and from a full spectrum of employment, including Tree Surgeons, Accountants, Teachers, Firemen, Students, Engineers, Doctors, Defence Personnel, Gardai and even Zoo Keepers!

Every year, considerable time is taken to select and induct the gentlemen in the duties and requirements of the Escorts and this year’s selection process will take place in early April. Escorts must be between 21 & 30 years of age before the 1st September and once selected, each prospective Escort must secure sponsorship of €1250.

Full details about being an Escort and about the Festival itself are available at www.roseoftralee.ie, www.facebook.com/RoseofTraleeFestival and on Twitter.

Rose of Tralee Festival: August 23, 2013, Every year more than 30 International Roses come to Tralee, supported by friends and family. The festival comprises the Rose of Tralee selection, family carnival, fashion show, and live concerts. The town's streetKieran Clancy Picsure Ltd 2011