Over the years the Rose of Tralee has evolved from a small, local event where only local unmarried girls were allowed to enter, to an international competition drawing competitors and spectators from across the globe.
The festival as it is known today began in 1959. It's precursor, the Carnival Queen Festival fell into decline when rural Ireland saw mass emigration in the post-war era. The modern day festival was created by local business men as a means of bringin visitors and revenue to the town of Tralee. The festival sees young women of Irish ancestry from all over the world return to the land of their roots to compete for the coveted crown and sash of the Rose of Tralee. But the pageant is just one part of the festival of music, food, and Irish culture, which goes on for seven days.