The 2018 International Rose of Tralee is Waterford Rose Kirsten Mate Maher

The Dome was alive with energy as we awaited the big announcement. The 2018 International Rose of Tralee Festival was about to conclude on a high note. The women were remarkable. The crowd was full of life. The Festival was as vibrant as ever.

We were there cheering on 2018 Ohio Rose Erin Stefancin. And although, she didn’t make it to the final 32, she made the most of every moment. From charity events and parades, to dancing the night away at the disco and watching fireworks with her Rosebud, Erin was always smiling and always had a story to tell.

Family was without a doubt an important part of Erin’s journey. Her family came from Ohio, Georgia and Co. Mayo to see her in the parades and rally with her at the pub twinning.

As the final moments leading up to the announcement came, I couldn’t help, but wonder how the ladies on stage were doing. I hoped they had as much support as Erin behind them. After all, the Rose of Tralee is about community, both at home and abroad. Each year is journey for every Rose. The community looks at them as ambassadors, both on the local and international levels. And the community also rallies behind them as they make their mark on the world.

Congratulations to Waterford Rose Kirsten Mate Maher, now the 2018 International Rose of Tralee! It’s her turn to make a mark on the world, and we cannot wait to see what she the story unfold. Read Kirsten’s bio here.

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