A permanent home for the 60 year-old Rose of Tralee International Festival has moved a step closer.
Mayor of Tralee Cllr Jim Finucane (FG) has revealed that the council is to advertise later this month for expressions of interest from the private sector for a centre on a council-owned site at Fel’s Point in the town.
The centre would host the event, replacing the “dome” that has to be erected each year, and would also double as a major commercial exhibition and conference venue in for Kerry.
He said the festival has already moved to the Fel’s Point area in effect and the site on the Dan Spring Road is adjacent to the Rose Hotel and near where the tent-like Dome from where the festival is beamed throughout the world is erected each year.
Advertisements seeking interest from developers will be placed in media from January 27, Mayor Finucane said, kickstarting a long term ambition by the people of Tralee and the festival organisers.
“I’m anxious to bring to a conclusion to the long term ambition for a permanent home for the festival,” Mayor Finucane said.
A 2,000 seat event centre that will accommodate a year round exhibition area for the festival, as well as hosting major sporting events conferences and large scale commercial events is envisaged.
Kerry needs a venue for major homes exhibitions and such and Tralee has lost out in major public sector conferences in recent years, the mayor explained.
Meanwhile, the public in Kerry is also being invited to have their say on the future of one of the country’s largest urban parks, the 35-acre Tralee Town Park and its 6,000 plus rose garden strongly associated with the Rose of Tralee Festival.
Three acres of the park is covered by roses.
Known affectionately as “The Green” the Tralee park was the castle green of the Desmonds, and afterwards the Dennys and was sold in 1922 to the local authority.
People are asked to complete an online survey to garner ideas for the future of the park.
Local secondary schools have also come on board and will be out and about over the coming weeks in Tralee Town Centre encouraging and assisting the general public to complete the surveys.
The survey can be found on the homepage of Kerry County Council’s website www.kerrycoco.ie.
Copies of the survey are also available at County Buildings in Rathass, Tralee Library and the Tralee Municipal District offices at Princes Quay.
The closing date for receipt of completed surveys is February 21. The initiative is supported by Tralee Chamber Alliance, IT Tralee, North East and West Kerry Development and local secondary schools.