Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wet 'n Wild Wicklow Weekend

As you know, I went up to Wicklow last week to be looked after by Brian and Bronwyn while Manus was away. It was very tudor-esque... The familial obligation of a man to take in his brother's widowed wife. (work widow, that is) I was very Catherine of Aragon. But I also went to Rathdrum because Saturday night was the first annual Rose of Avondale and if you don't know what that is, worry not! as it is just like the Rose of Tralee.

That is exactly how it was explained to me. I said, uh...thanks. that clears that up.

And so because inquiring minds want to know, you can go to the
official Rose of Tralee website to learn more.

The pageant was on Saturday night and it was intended that there would be festivities in the town square during the day. They planned decorations, live music and face painting for the kids. And the face painting was to be done by me! (So of course, in my mind I saw the weekend as "Come to the Greatest Face Painting Exhibition ever seen!!! And oh yeah, later see some girls walk across the stage in pretty dresses") But alas, it was not to be. The high-flying, death-defying water-based and non-comedogenic facial feat of artistic genius was rained out. RAINED out. Grey skies, strong winds and just persistent cold rain virtually drowned all of eastern Ireland. There was major flooding in and around Dublin leading to closed highways and now concern over contaminated drinking water. But, c'mon flooding? Shouldn't Ireland of all places be prepared for precipitation in abundant amounts? That's like the Egyptians saying, Sunscreen?! What would we need sunscreen for? Or the Pompeians declining natural disaster coverage on their home insurance policy. Of course, hurricane season comes every year to Florida but yet there are still millions of people scrambling for water and batteries the night before a storm (debbie...)

So anyway, day plans were changed but the rain couldn't dampen the spirits of the Rose hopefuls and at eight p.m. sharp we watched as they strut their stuff in the Avondale Indoor Sports Complex. Twenty local girls competed for the title and the 1000 euro in prize money. I don't think Miss Universe should be running scared, but perhaps Miss South Carolina should be looking over her shoulder. When asked what each would do if they won either the prize money or the lottery, most said, "shopping spree!!" This was consistent with the most popular hobby, "shopping" though shopping held only a small lead over the number two hobby, "walking". Yes, they were a lively bunch. I found it no surprise that none of them said they made a hobby of singing, though unfortunately nearly 10 of the 20 chose to sing for the talent portion of the show. Now, let's be fair...."talent" may be too strong a word.

There were a few very nice voices out there and two gals did traditional Irish dancing which I could find no fault in. Maybe for next year they will learn the upper body part... One girl did card tricks (you knew that would be my favorite talent) and some recited poetry. But most of those didn't even memorize the poems. We'll say "reading out loud" was apparently their talent and good for them! Really though, they all deserve my admiration because they all got up there and did it! You wont find me in next year's or any other year's Rose of Avondale. I just wouldn't have the nerve. That, and the small fact that no one has asked me to enter...sniff.

Each of the girls was sponsored by local businesses and thanks wholly to Mr. Brian Walsh, Esq., Esc., & Etc., of the Rathdrum offices, Brenock Technology was the proud sponsor of Rose Lianne. Despite cheering as loud as we could and the 20 euro notes I tried to slip to the judges, Lianne was not the big winner, but in our eyes....

She is #1

All the girls got beautiful silver plates engraved with their names to forever commemorate their involvement in the inaugural event. The money raised by the pageant will go to the Rathdrum "Tidy Towns" fund to help beautify the area. The TT committee members, my SIL, Bronwyn, specifically poured their hearts and souls into seeing that this night went along perfectly and they did it. It was a great night and Im looking forward to next year's.

There were even some celebrity sightings...
The GAA great, Mick O'Dwyer

American Idol's own David Archuleta

Even Alfred E. Newman!! (hello??!...MAD magazine)

This blog post was made possible through a generous endowment by our sponsor...

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