Arizona Colleen & Rose, an Irish Heritage Program, Selects 2018 Representative

Colleen and Rose

 PHOENIX (March 6, 2018) — The Arizona Colleen and Rose Program, an Irish heritage program for women aged 18-27, selected its 2018 representative this past Saturday, March 3.

Twenty-four year old Kelsey Kelleher will serve as the “Queen of the Parade” for the Phoenix St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Faire and will act as a representative for the state of Arizona in the Rose of Tralee International Festival in Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland in August.

“This is an absolute dream come true,” Kelleher said. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to represent the Arizona Irish community at home and abroad for the coming year and look forward to the exciting experiences that are ahead. The participants in this year’s Arizona Colleen and Rose selection were all fantastic, incredibly accomplished role models and are wonderful examples of the caliber of young women we have here in Arizona. I cannot wait have them join me in the Phoenix St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Faire festivities on March 17 and am proud to represent Arizona in Ireland in August for the Rose of Tralee International Festival.”

The “Arizona Colleen Pageant” started 35 years ago as an Irish heritage pageant. Honoring the 25th anniversary, the Arizona Colleen participated in the Rose of Tralee International Festival and has since held the dual title of “Arizona Colleen and Rose.” The winner not only serves as a spokesperson for the Arizona Irish community, but also receives:

  • A $1,000 scholarship

  • Media and interview training

  • Entry to the Arizona Renaissance Festival for Celtic Weekend on March 18

  • Jewelry from Rose of Tralee International Festival sponsor Tipperary Crystal

  • All expense paid trip to Ireland for 59th annual Rose of Tralee International Festival

  • A skin and facial service from Crystal Clarity Skincare in Tempe, Arizona

The 2018 Arizona Colleen and Rose’s official debut will be at the Phoenix St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Faire on March 17 in downtown Phoenix.


About the Rose of Tralee International Festival: The Rose of Tralee International Festival is one of the largest and longest running festivals in Ireland, celebrating 59 years in 2018. The heart of the festival is the selection of the Rose of Tralee which brings young women of Irish descent from around the world to County Kerry, Ireland for a global celebration of Irish culture. The festival also includes street entertainment, carnival, live concerts, theatre, circus, markets, funfair, fireworks and Rose Parades. Learn more:

About the Arizona Colleen and Rose Program: The Arizona Colleen and Rose of Tralee Program began as the Arizona Colleen Pageant, a heritage pageant, in 1983. It is open to single women of Irish ancestry ages of 18 through 27 years old. In 2008, programs were added for younger ladies of Irish descent: The Little Miss Shamrock program selects two 6-12 year olds and the Arizona Irish Lass program selects one-two 13-17 year olds.The Colleen and Rose programs are organized by the Phoenix St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Faire committee, a 501(c)3 organization.


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