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Tralee is preparing to Bloom…

Tralee is preparing to Bloom…

Kerry Rose Mary Hickey tells us her thoughts as she prepares for her big week

Mary Hickey3Of course Festival week is packed with lots of entertainment for all of the family. It’s an event that is recognised worldwide and certainly is a brand that has put Tralee and indeed the entire county on the map all over the world… We catch up with one lovely lady who is representing her own county and welcoming all the other Roses to her home county. Mary Hickey was chosen to represent Kerry in this year’s final so we decided to see how her preparations are going.

Congrats on becoming Kerry rose was it always a dream for you?

Absolutely! As a little girl I would always watch the Rose of Tralee in the hope that one day I might too take to the stage as a Rose. My cousins and I took proceedings very seriously and would compile our own judging criteria for the selection nights. It is such an honour to have been chosen as the Kerry Rose. The excitement at home, in my local community and around the county is tremendous, it has already been an unforgettable experience. I feel very blessed and fortunate to be going forward and I can’t wait for August.

Tell us a little bit about Mary at home and what you like to do to relax and chill out?

I am a primary school teacher which is a fantastic job that gives me ample freedom in the evenings to pursue my hobbies and interests. First and foremost I love traditional music; I have a concertina and really enjoy learning and playing the instrument. I have a keen interest in volunteering and for me it is a wonderful way to relax. I supervise at the Social Action Group’s youth centre each week in Rathmore. I have always had a keen interest in drama and I am a member of the Marian Players Pantomime Group in Rathmore and Banteer Drama Group also. I love the camaraderie and fun involved in each production.

Your family must be very proud?

Mary HickeyMy Mom was never a Rose but she definitely emulates all the qualities of a perfect one. She is extremely proud and excited about the adventures ahead of us in August. She is an exceptional lady, a widow from a very young age, she has always shown great strength and courage in everything she has done and has taught me so much. Her belief in me is unfaltering and she is encouraging and positive about everything I do. She has been my personal assistant, my stylist and my confidante since I became the Kerry Rose in May. I am extremely lucky.

You have the advantage of being the home girl and the Kerry Rose do you feel there is extra pressure on you because of this?

Not at all! It is certainly a huge honour to represent my favourite place in the whole world but I don’t feel any added pressure. Every Rose will be representing their home, or their home away from home the best they possibly can. I don’t think being from Kerry offers me any advantages, each Rose has an equal chance, however, I do get the extra privilege of welcoming the ladies to Kerry and I think this will be a real highlight of my Rose experience.

Have you got the wardrobe sorted for the week?

I am almost finished buying and borrowing at this stage. Now I need to get planning!!! I am extremely lucky, as I am following in the footsteps of last year’s Kerry Rose, Gemma Kavanagh who has been a tremendous support to me and she has given me lots of tips and advice. But Mom has everything under control, our sitting room has now been converted into a style studio and accessories adorn the hallway.

What do you think your highlight for the week will be? Is there anything in particular you are secretly looking forward to?

I cannot wait to meet all the Roses! I think the highlight will be those special moments when we are having a chat and a little laugh together, enjoying one another’s company, forming lasting friendships and creating life long memories.

What would it mean to you towin the title?

It would be a beautiful added bonus. It has been an absolute dream to come this far, now I want to live every minute of this experience, enjoy each little thing and make lots of wonderful new friends.

We wish you the very best for your week ahead and we are all very proud of you.

Another amazing event that never seems to loose appeal is the Rose of Tralee Fashion Show, every year over 1600 ladies arrive to take notes on what’s hot for autumn with the first show of the year launching collections from Kerry and beyond. NEW York fashion designer, Don O’Neill will showcase high-octane Red Carpet gowns from THEIA’s Fall/Winter 2014 collection at The Kerryman Rose of Tralee Autumn Winter Fashion Show 2014.

Guaranteed to fuel dreams and keep the paparazzi cameras flashing, the Kerry-native will be among a star-studded line-up of designers and boutiques in the Festival Dome on Sunday 17th August.
The Producer of the Rose of Tralee Fashion Show, Celia Holman Lee says “The Rose of Tralee International Autumn/Winter Fashion Showcase will provide an opportunity for 1600 people to view the first of the Autumn/Winter Collections from over 40 designers and boutiques including The Design Centre, Dublin, Synan O’Mahony Designer and Don O’Neill Creative Director of Theia, New York.”

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Another key aspect of the annual Rose of Tralee International Fashion Showcase on Sunday 17th August will be the exciting Rose of Tralee Fashion Designer Awards 2014.

This is an awards ceremony to salute all the Irish design talent that is emerging in Ireland at the moment. Renowned designer Aideen Bodkin one of Ireland’s most successful Designers will be on hand as Head Judge for this award.

rose_fashion_show_winner_2Don O’Neill, who will take part in his third successive Rose of Tralee Fashion Show, said: “
Fashion in Ireland is going from strength to strength as Irish women continue to refine and cultivate their ‘look’ while still experimenting and having fun with fashion. Local established designers as well as the crop of up and coming designers are providing unique and original clothes that are fashion forward and exciting. With so many weddings, race meetings, fashion luncheons, fundraisers and awards shows.”

Don O’Neill has just completed his Resort 2015 Collection which was favourably reviewed by Women’s Wear Daily and well received by the buyers. Four actresses wore THEIA on the TONY AWARDS Red Carpet, Cassadee Pope (winner of season 3’s The Voice USA) wore THEIA on the Red Carpet at the CMT Awards and American rock star Melissa Etheridge’s wife Linda Wallem wore THEIA at their star studded wedding in California.

One lucky person in the audience will leave the venue on the night as the Best Dressed Lady with a prize valued at €1000 from The Loop at Dublin and Cork Airports. It’s definitely a night not to be missed so get looking through the wardrobe ladies and get ready for an evening not to be missed.

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