Two lads from Mayo have graduated from Boot Camp and will travel to Kerry as Rose Escorts at the 2016 Rose of Tralee International Festival. Mark Duffy (24 ) and John Marren (27 ) were among the 65 guys who will be the Rose Escorts to 65 Roses taking part in this year’s extended festival from August 17 to 23 in Tralee. The lads were put through their paces over the June Bank Holiday Weekend at the annual Boot Camp in Dingle, Ballybunion and Castlegregory along the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry.
The Rose of Tralee International Festival’s communications manager, John Drummey, said: “The Rose Escorts spent three days in Kerry where they undertook a number of endurance tasks to prepare them for the festival in August. It was not because the ladies love Milk Tray but because the lads prefer Roses. Over 200 men aged between 21 and 30 applied to become Rose Escorts at this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival and following a detailed interview process, the final 65, the most ever, were selected to take part in a Boot Camp weekend in the Kingdom to help them cope with the demands of a busy week in Tralee.”
The lads had to carry out a range tasks including a cycle over Connor Pass, a hike up Mount Brandon, turf-footing, abseiling, kayaking, surfing, ironing and sewing in order to prove they will have the stamina to be a Rose Escort. The 2016 Rose of Tralee International Festival will take place in Tralee from August 17 to 23 when a full line-up of free and affordable entertainment is planned including concerts.