The search is on for the 2011 Big Apple Rose of Tralee! We are looking for Roses, Escorts, Junior Roses and Rosebuds to compete in this weekend-long festival of events at The Millennium Broadway Hotel at 145 W. 44th Street, in the heart of Times Square in Manhattan. The winning Big Apple Rose and Escort will go on to represent New York at the Rose of Tralee Regional Selection in Ireland. The International Rose of Tralee and Escort will serve as worldwide ambassadors for Irish heritage and culture. The 2011 Big Apple Rose of Tralee Festival will run in conjunction with the 2011 Big Apple Feis Weekend, where over 1700 Irish dancers will compete in this third annual event, also at the Millennium Broadway Hotel.

The Rose programs encourage young women (Roses, Junior Roses, and Rosebuds) and young men (Escorts) to take pride in their Irish heritage and to get involved in service to their local Irish communities. Participants in all programs are required to have some Irish ancestry. Judging is based on communication skills, poise, personality, talent, well-roundedness in life, an essay (“Lass and Colleen”), and Irish pride. All titleholders will receive a tiara and prize package and will go on to represent the New York (“The Big Apple”) Irish community at local area events.

How to Become a Rose

We are looking for young ladies of Irish heritage, ages 18-27, who would like to represent New York (“The Big Apple”) at The Rose of Tralee International Festival in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. The winner of the Big Apple Rose of Tralee Festival will represent New York’s Irish community as she competes for the title of “International Rose of Tralee” alongside candidates from all over the world.

Applications are available for download at Please fill out the application completely and mail it to the address listed on the form along with a 3” x 5” photograph. You must have your preliminary application in the hands of the Big Apple Rose of Tralee Committee no later than March 26, 2011.

In order to compete, you must secure a $250.00 sponsorship fee for your entry into the Big Apple Rose of Tralee Competition, which will be held on March 25, 26, and 27th, 2011. In the "Sponsorship Opportunities” tab of the website, you will find a section entitled “Friend of the Rose,” which will outline how to get a business to sponsor your fee.

The Big Apple Rose Selection will take place in the elegant Hudson Theatre at The Millennium Broadway Hotel in Manhattan, and all contestants will participate in the entire weekend festival, which will include music, dancing, theatre, vendors, parades, and more! The events will begin with the opening ceremonies on Friday night and will conclude when the winner is announced on Sunday evening.

The 2011 Big Apple New York Rose will receive:

* A roundtrip ticket to Ireland to participate in the Rose of Tralee Regional Selection, to be held from June 2-7, 2011.
* The winner of the Regional Selection will return to Tralee to compete in the International Rose of Tralee Festival from August 17-24, 2011.
* An all-expenses paid stay in Ireland for the Regional and possibly International Selection Festivals.
* Press photos for Ireland
* Tiara
* Rose Pendant
* Plus other gifts!

If you have any questions about The Big Apple Rose of Tralee Festival, please consult our website at, email us at, or call Unateresa at 914-715-9914.

We wish you every success and perhaps it will be our pleasure to welcome you at the 2011 International Rose of Tralee Festival as a Rose!

How to Become an Escort 

We are seeking young men of Irish heritage, ages 21-30, who would like to represent New York (“The Big Apple”) as an Escort. Male Escorts must be presently unmarried and have never been previously married, and must be from Ireland or have Irish ancestry. Escorts must be available for Selection events, and if selected, be available for the International Festival Events. The entrance fee for Escorts is $250.00.

How to Become a Junior Rose
We are looking for young ladies of Irish heritage, ages 13-17, who would like to represent New York (“The Big Apple”) as a Junior Rose of Tralee. The Junior Roses will serve as “honor guards,” and will participate in a segment of the Selection night as a junior member of the Rose of Tralee. This is a wonderful way to prepare to compete in the future as a Rose. The entrance fee for Junior Roses is $100.

How to Become a Rosebud

We are looking for young ladies of Irish heritage, ages 5-12, who would like to represent New York (“The Big Apple”) as a Rosebud. Rosebuds serve as “honor guards” for the Rose candidates. They will lead the Rose candidates on stage for their interviews and make a presentation. They also serve a vital role by enabling the judges to observe how well each candidate relates to children, as the biggest Rose of Tralee fans in Ireland are young people. The Rosebuds are asked to wear a pastel-colored party dress. The entrance fee for Rosebuds is $50.

Please try to get your applications in as soon as possible as spots are filling up quickly. 

About the Weekend of Events

The Opening Ceremonies will begin on the evening of Friday, March 25th in the Eighth Floor Conference Center of The Millennium Broadway Hotel. Doors will open at 6:00pm to vendors who have booked space in advance and the general public. A Celebratory Céilí, featuring Irish traditional music by some of the tri-state area’s finest Irish seisiún and céilí musicians will begin at 7:00pm. The céilí will be open to the public and musicians and dancers of all levels are welcome! Bring your instruments and comfortable shoes and join us in welcoming the Roses, Escorts, Junior Roses, and Rosebuds in this fun and informal atmosphere. Admission is $5 in advance through Smarttix or $10 at the door.

The festivities on the evening of Saturday, March 26 will be held at the Hudson Theatre inside the Millennium Broadway Hotel. Tickets for the 6:00pm cocktail reception with an open bar, dinner, and VIP seating to the 7:30pm program are $100 and are available through Smarttix. For those wishing to purchase tickets to the program only, VIP Orchestra seating is available at $50, and General Admission seating is $35. There will be a cash bar with concessions available prior to the program beginning at 7:15pm. The reception will feature music by Joyce and Ruth O’Leary of Sephira and a performance of “Capone” by The Lynn Academy Troupe Dancers, featuring choreography by Maureen Collins. Raffle prizes will be on display for viewing. The evening’s program will begin at 7:30pm and will feature a bagpiper, a welcome invocation, renditions of the national anthems of the U.S. and Ireland, and introductions of the contestants, judges, and guests. The Junior Roses and Rosebuds will make their debut during this event. The interview and talent portions of the competition are the featured events of the Saturday program. 

The 2011 Rose Selection Gala will take place on Sunday, March 27 at The Hudson Theatre in The Millennium Broadway Hotel. The theme of the Gala is “The First of Firsts,” honoring the various “Firsts” in Irish culture in the U.S. This year’s honorees include Peter Smith, Anna O’Sullivan, Fedelmia Davis, and Joan & Cyril McNiff, the founding members of the IDTANA (Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America); Michael Flatley, the first U.S. Male World Champion Irish Dancer and the producer of the first movie about Irish Dance, Lord of the Dance in 3D, which has just opened in the U.S.; Dennis Dennehy, Mr. Flatley’s Irish dance teacher; Theresa O’Sullivan, the first U.S. World Champion Irish Dancer; Patsy McLoughlin, Ms. O’Sullivan’s Irish dance teacher; Mr. Paul F. Thiele, a lifetime supporter of Irish arts and culture; singers and violinists Joyce and Ruth O’Leary, the “Celtic Girls,” fresh off their tour with “Celtic Thunder”; and George C. Heslin, Founder and Artistic Director of The Origin Theatre Company, producer of the first festival of Irish theatre in New York. There will be a “Meet and Greet” with some of the honorees during the evening. The program will feature entertainment by the evening’s honorees, including an original play by George C. Heslin of The Origin Theatre Company; a performance of “A Journey Through Time” by The Lynn Academy Troupe Dancers, choreographed by Maureen Collins; music by Joyce and Ruth O’Leary of Sephira; as well as a showcase of emerging Irish artists. 

Final interviews of the Roses will take place and the 2011 Big Apple NY Rose, Escort, Junior Rose, and Rosebud will be crowned.

Tickets are available through Smarttix and also begin at $35 for General Admission tickets, $50 for VIP Orchestra tickets, and $100 for the 6:00pm cocktail reception with open bar, dinner, and VIP seating for the program, which begins at 7:30pm. Formal attire is required at the Rose Selection Gala.