Clare Rose Ava O’Mahony will hope to blossom this weekend, when she takes to the stage with 55 other hopefuls from all over the world, looking to securing her place at The Dome for the Rose of Tralee International Festival in August.
The 25-year-old Ennis woman, a finance graduate of University of Limerick, will be hoping to clinch one of the 23 places up for grabs in the three consecutive selection nights, hosted by RTÉ presenter Dáithí Ó Sé in The Portlaoise Heritage Hotel, starting this Friday.
Ava impressed the judges last month at a county final, hosted by TV3 weatherman Deric Ó hArtagáin.
The regional festival highlights will include the official opening in the Civic Plaza on Friday night, the vintage car parade of Roses and their Rose Buds followed by a street party on Saturday and the annual visit to Abbeyleix and Castle Durrow on Sunday.
Roses representing 28 counties in Ireland, 13 regions in the United States, Scotland and four major cities in England, as well as Melbourne, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Canada, Luxembourg and Germany, will take part in the regional festival.
Twenty-three Roses will go forward to the Rose of Tralee International Festival, where they will be joined in August by Roses from Kerry, Cork, Dublin, Sydney, New Zealand, Darwin, Perth, Queensland and South Australia.