The search is on for the next Northern Ohio Rose

The Northern Ohio Rose Centre is accepting applications for its third annual “Northern Ohio Rose Selection Celebration” during which the 2013 Northern Ohio Rose will be chosen. Contestants will need to be available for three days full of preliminary judging, judging and other related events that are being planned from April 19-21, 2013.

The 2013 Northern Ohio Rose becomes the “Ohio Rose” when she travels to Portlaoise, County Laois, Ireland, in May 2013 to compete in the Rose of Tralee International Festival’s Regional Festival. Her trip is furnished by Westlake World Partners Co., the non-profit organization that hosts the Northern Ohio Rose Centre.

At the Regional Festival, the Ohio Rose will join other “Roses” from the U.S. and Canada, Ireland and the UK, continental Europe, Asia and the South Pacific for the events leading up to the selection of the final field of 32 contestants who will advance to the Rose of Tralee International Festival in Tralee, Ireland, in August 2013 and vie for the title of the “2013 International Rose of Tralee.”

Young women either born in Ireland or of Irish heritage who range in age from 18 (by Jan. 1, 2013), to 28 (no later than Sept. 1, 2013) who are unmarried (and never married) are encouraged to apply. 

Former contestants who have participated in the Regional Festival and the International Festival typically describe having the “experience of a lifetime” and walk away with warm memories and, in some cases, long-term international friendships.

The Rose of Tralee International Festival showcases the inner qualities, grace, intelligence, wit, charm and achievement that characterize modern young Irish women worldwide. Miss Nicola McEvoy of Luxembourg is the reigning 2012 International Rose of Tralee, and Miss Ashley Speaker is the reigning Ohio Rose.   

More information regarding this time-honored festival dating back to 1959 can be found at, which is the Rose of Tralee International Festival’s official website. A great showing of support for the Northern Ohio Rose Centre can be achieved by visiting “Ohio” under the “Centres” tab on this site.

New for this year’s local Rose contestants, in a move that is consistent with the festival’s recommendation as well as other “Rose Centres” is that they are being asked to approach backers such as businesses, clubs, and associations, for a $100 sponsorship fee that is due with the entrant’s application packet. The current deadline for all applications is March 21, 2013, but “early birds” who complete their applications by Jan. 15 will enjoy a reduction in their personal application fee.

Sponsorships also open the door for businesses, clubs, associations and community groups to conduct their own “contestant search.” This can be a fun activity for patrons, clientele and membership while generating community support and recognition. Such interaction is also consistent with the types of activities surrounding the Rose of Tralee’s regional and international Festivals in Ireland. 

It is also thought that this would be an especially good form of activity and promotion for senior residences, assisted living homes, etc., as it could include residents who would otherwise find it difficult to attend the April 2013 Selection Celebration. As sense of “family” is an important part of Irish heritage, and it’s been learned that grandparents and great-grandparents, great-aunts and uncles can be a great source of contestant recruitment.

The Northern Ohio Rose Centre invites potential sponsors to express their interest by e-mailing The same holds true for any business that would be happy to be paired with a Rose applicant in search of a sponsor. Details pertaining to event sponsorships and individual ticket sales and locations will be available after the first of the year on our website,

The Northern Ohio Rose Selection Celebration is currently the major annual fundraising event for Westlake World Partners Co., which was established to help promote cultural, educational, and civic exchange for Westlake’s Sister Cities Program. The town of Tralee, Ireland, has been Westlake’s Sister City (or “Twin Town”) since 2009, and in October 2012, Westlake formed a new Sister City alliance with the town of Kingsville, Ontario.  

This year’s event executive is Ms. Denise McConville who is both a Westlake resident and native of Tralee, Ireland.

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Volume 4, Issue 25, Posted 10:43 AM, 12.11.2012