Behind the scenes at the Festival of Kerry, the highlight of which is the crowning of the Rose of Tralee.
It costs £20,000 to mount the Festival of Kerry, Tralee’s annual event to choose the Rose of Tralee. During the Festival period Tralee’s population mushrooms from 11,000 to 100,000 a day. This means a lot of hard work for those working in the hospitality sector, t0 ensure festival goers receive the highest standards of catering and service.
Each year the festival is sponsored by a brewery and Tralee bars are full to capacity with staff in one bar washing glasses 40,000 times a day. Meanwhile, another hostelry provided more than 1,200 meals a day; 3,000 steaks in a week and 2,000 chicken and duck and a variety of other food.
The tourist office in Tralee is inundated with queries and the four staff working extended hours. Here visitors can find accommodation and get information on festival activities, fishing, racing and where people can see the Roses.
It means a lot of hard work but we enjoy it all, and even if the work is hard, I enjoy it very much.
During the Festival, Tralee’s Garda force of 24 is reinforced with Gardaí from around the country. These are mainly on street or traffic control as crime is on the whole insignificant.
The Festival of Kerry brings in a £600,000 turnover for Tralee businesses and the festival moves on to Dingle and other towns to spread the money around.
The Roses arrive in Tralee during an evening procession before attending a reception for them in the Ashe Hall. Eighteen-year-old Birmingham student teacher Ann Foley was chosen to be the 9th Rose of Tralee.
A ‘Newsbeat’ report broadcast on 25 September 1967. The reporter is Bill O’Herlihy.