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Rose of Tralee Festival 2000 Updates Updated: 24th August 2000
 


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Don't Forget
This Year's Festival: August 24th - 28th 2001 (inc)

Weather Fails To Dampen Festival Spirits

Where Do You Want To Go?
Fire-Juggler in Denny Street 
on Friday night Fireworks lighting up the night sky 
at the Aqua Dome on Friday night To Dance On The Moon -
the new Irish Dance Spectacular, 
launching this year's Festival on Friday night

Launch Night

"But no-one thought of looking after the weather".... That's what most people must have felt on Friday afternoon when, after a very pleasant (and, yes, sunny) day, the heavens opened at just after 4 o'clock and torrential rain poured down on the thousands of holidaymakers heading for Tralee from all corners of the world for the 42nd Rose of Tralee International Festival.

During the day, traffic had been moving steadily into the town - but once the rain started it virtually came to a standstill. However Tralee still fared better than Killarney, where flash flooding took place in the town and where water levels reached a massive 3 feet in places!

Back in Tralee, preparations were in place for the opening of the Festival at the Aqua Dome with the "To Dance On The Moon" Dance Show as well as the spectacular fireworks display, which, as the evening wore on and the rains failed to abate for more than a few minutes at a time, seemed increasingly unlikely to occur. Not to mind the "glitterati" who were busily readying themselves for the highlight of the social year calendar - the International Rose Ball, which would be the first time that the Roses (who had arrived in town earlier in the day, having first visited St. John's Arts Centre in Listowel) would get to meet their male escorts, who would be their mentors during the hectic week of the Festival.

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Irish Dance Show -
To Dance On The Moon
at the Aqua Dome on Friday To Dance...

When Festival President, Kevin McCarthy, came on stage at the Aqua Dome to officially open the Festival, it was still raining. He thanked all those present, some of whom had travelled great distances, as well as the people of Tralee and hoped that everyone would bring back home with them happy memories of Tralee. Michael Carr of "To Dance On The Moon - The Eclipse" then announced that, although the group had been offered the option, in view of the inclement weather, to cancel their performance, they had chosen not to cancel but, instead to perform an edited version of the show, called "The Shortened Eclipse"! As the stage-hands worked frantically to keep the cables and stage clear of hazardous rainwater, the seven-piece orchestra decided to keep the patient crowds entertained by playing a catchy, foot-tapping version of "Singin' In the Rain". All very entertaining indeed!

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Fireworks

A Glittering Fireworks Display
Launches this year's Festival Eventually all was ready and the show proceeded. The music and dancing talents of all involved was excellent and many people will take in the full show at the National Event Centre in Killarney, before it finishes its run there in two weeks time. As the show was concluding, the rains stopped and the sky was lit up with dazzling fireworks. It was a fitting ending to the evening's events and the thousands who witnessed the display close up were thrilled at the experience. When you consider that in 1963 the Festival Committee spent a massive 150 on fireworks and ten years later in 1973 the amount had been doubled to 300, this year's spend of over 10,000 on fireworks seems unbelievable!!

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Rose Exhibition

1999 Rose of Tralee, Geraldine O'Grady,
at the Rose Exhibition in the County Library
on Saturday 19th August Early on Saturday morning, the Rose of Tralee Exhibition was officially opened at the County library by current Rose of Tralee, Geraldine O'Grady, who said that she was delighted to be able to enjoy all of the memorabilia of the Rose Festivals down through the years. As an historian, she appreciated the great amount of time and effort needed to compile and present such an Exhibition. Kathleen Brown, County Librarian, said that she and her staff had put a lot of work into organising the Exhibition and hoped that people would take home with them enduring memories of it.

Former TV Festival presenter Gay Byrne
from a photograph at the Rose Exhibition 
enjoying the Festival - but who is the Rose? Tralee Urban Council Vice-Chairman, Johnny Wall, said that he loved to take in all the news articles and photographs of previous Festivals and paid tribute to the County Librarian and her staff for their efforts in bringing this aspect of the Festival to people's attention each year. The Exhibition of memorabilia of the Rose of Tralee Festival from 1959 to 1999 is free of charge and open to the public at the County Library, Moyderwell.

Rose of Tralee International Festival:
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