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Gowns of Glory: Rose of Tralee Dresses Through the Decades on Display from July to September

The Rose of Tralee Festival is held every year during the month of August, coinciding with National Heritage Week. The festival takes his inspiration from the 19th century ballad of the same name, and the centrepiece is a competition, broadcast live on national TV, in which a young woman is crowned as the Rose of Tralee. Entrants come from over sixty Rose Centres globally, and the winning Rose represents the Festival and Ireland in a year-long ambassadorial role at home and abroad. ‘Gowns Of Glory’ charts the changing styles over the decades with more than 40 dresses on display worn by the winning Rose of Tralee over the past 60 years and entry is free during Heritage Week.

Also on display are memorabilia from Alice O’Sullivan, the first Rose of Tralee in 1959, including her fob watch, clutch bag and ‘Dublin’ sash. The dresses are part of a wider context in fashion trends, and some are very much of their time, notably the 1980s with its puffy sleeves and flouncy skirts. Styles have become sleeker since then, with designs aiming for a timeless elegance. In the early years the Roses either made their own dresses or bought “off-the-rack”. From 1978 the competition was broadcast live on RTÉ, and this had a major impact in the following decades. Designers became keen to get their styles shown on one of the nation’s most watched TV programmes, and many of the gowns on display were designed specifically for the occasion.

The Rose of Tralee is a national institution, loved and loathed in equal measure. Its critics argue that it is a relic of an Ireland that no longer exists, with outdated notions of Irish femininity. Supporters point to the increasing diversity of the Roses as reflecting a changing Ireland. Revealing much about the tensions between the country’s past, present, and its future direction, this annual debate bears down heavily on an event that for many is about entertainment and the glorious gúnas.

Do you have a story or special memory about the Rose of Tralee or any object relating to the festival? We would love to hear from you: education@kerrymuseum.ie

By |July 22nd, 2023|Categories: Uncategorized||

Kids go Free: Summer Family Fun at your Museum

Did you know that Kerry County Museum is open seven days a week during the summer? And better still: children go free as part of our family offer. So why not visit us this summer and explore our engaging exhibitions with the Pangur Bán Discovery Trail, a family activity trail with many hands-on activities along the way. If you are in Kerry during National Heritage Week (12-20 August), make sure to check out our wide range of Heritage Week events: From mixed-media arts & crafts sessions inspired by prehistoric tools to interactive workshops exploring childhood in Stone Age and Viking Kerry, there is something for all the family. All are welcome!

By |July 22nd, 2023|Categories: Uncategorized||

Park Festival Tralee: Free Entry to Museum & Medieval Living History on Sat 17 & Sun 18 June

Kerry County Museum is delighted to participate in the magnificent Park Festival in Tralee, celebrating the return of Summer live music, food and arts to Kerry. The Park Festival is hosted in the picturesque outdoor space of Tralee Town Park in the heart of Tralee town and Kerry County Museum are offering free entry to all our exhibitions on Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 June. We are also delighted to host a major living history event in our Medieval Experience. “The Last Prince” offers an immersive, entertaining and hands-on insight into life in Gaelic late medieval Ireland. This event is also free of charge and is on Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 June from 11am until 4pm. The 2023 Park Festival is presented by Kerry County Council Tralee Municipal District and supported by Kerry Group. Flagship events include the traditional Féile na mBláth family festival of Flower Presentations, Demonstrations, Street Theatre and Arts, Craft and Food Stalls both outdoors and under our Festival Marquees. For all events during the Park Festival have a look here:

By |June 15th, 2023|Categories: Uncategorized||

June Bank Holiday weekend: Museum open daily + Arts & Crafts on Sat 11am-3pm

Welcome summer! Are you getting too hot being out and about in Tralee this bank holiday weekend? Why not drop into the Museum to cool down and explore our exhibitions and hands-on activities! We are open on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10am until 5pm; last admission is at 4pm. A special treat awaits on Saturday 3 June: our facilitator Helena is delivering fun drop-in arts and crafts workshops from 11am until 3pm. Our arts and crafts activities are most suitable for children of primary school age – but younger or older kids can join in too! Learn how to make your own walking spider or other creepy crawlies and rest assured – anyone who has done workshops with Helena before knows that it’s fun guaranteed!

By |June 2nd, 2023|Categories: Uncategorized||

Heritage Hunter Podcasts: Explore Kerry’s rich heritage through children’s eyes

Kerry’s primary schools engage in amazing local heritage projects every year: climbing in and out of ringforts, exploring the history of their schools or village, researching landmark buildings near their school, recording native plants and birds, interviewing their grandparents, making history models – the children’s creativity and imagination is boundless. To showcase some of these fabulous projects, we have partnered up with Radio Kerry to create Heritage Hunters, a series of ten short podcasts which are being broadcast on Jerry O’Sullivan’s Kerry Today throughout 2023.

Kerry Heritage Hunters is a creative collaboration of Radio Kerry, the Kerry Archaeological & Historical Society, Kerry County Museum and Kerry County Council. This primary school initiative is kindly supported by the Heritage Council of Ireland, The Education Centre Tralee and the Sound and Vision fund of Coimisiún na Meán.

Click on the links below and explore Kerry’s rich local heritage through children’s eyes. We would like to invite you to join the pupils of Spa NS going oyster fishing in Fenit, climb to the top of Blennerville Windmill with the pupils of Blennerville NS and travel on the Ghost train to Croker with the pupils of Glenbeigh NS. The remaining poscasts will be recorded over the next few months – watch this space!

LISTEN TO Spa National School – Oyster Fishing in Fenithttps://www.radiokerry.ie/podcasts/heritage-hunters-podcast/episode-1-oyster-fishing-spa-national-school-325655 

LISTEN TO Blennerville National School – The Windmill:  https://www.radiokerry.ie/podcasts/kerry-today/heritage-hunters-blennerville-windmill-april-3rd-2023-325216

LISTEN TO Glenbeigh National School – The Ghost Train to Croker:  https://www.radiokerry.ie/podcasts/kerry-today/heritage-hunters-ghost-train-may-31st-2023-333137  

By |June 1st, 2023|Categories: Uncategorized||

16 May: St Brendan the Navigator – a webinar for primary schools

Saint Brendan the Navigator was born in Fenit, near Tralee around 500 AD. He founded a federation of monasteries in Ireland, but he is most famous for his legendary voyage across the North Atlantic in a simple wooden boat. Without the help of navigational instruments, he may have reached America 500 years before the Vikings and 1000 years before Christopher Columbus. His story seems to describe the sheep and seabirds of the Faeroe Islands, the volcanoes of Iceland, the icebergs of Greenland and the fog surrounding Newfoundland. His travel adventures were written down in monasteries all over Europe and soon became a major medieval bestseller.

From growing up in Fenit to his famous travel adventures, this webinar is an introduction to the life and adventures of Kerry’s adventurous seafaring Saint whose feast day is annually commemorated on the 16th May. You can register for this webinar via the Education Centre Tralee: https://www.edcentretralee.ie/cpd-courses-tralee-kerry/primary-courses/2754-23tra377-st-brendan-the-navigator-kerry-s-seafaring-patron-saint-3rd-to-6th-class.html

Presenter: Claudia Köhler is the Education Officer at Kerry County Museum and chairperson of the Saint Brendan Heritage Committee, Fenit.

Duration: 30 minutes + Quiz and Q&A

Suitable for: 3rd – 6th Class (all ages welcome)

Strand/ Unit: Stories/ Stories from the lives of people in the past

This webinar is part of a series of events in collaboration with the Education Support Centre Tralee, the Saint Brendan Heritage Committee in Fenit and the Kerry Archaeological & Historical Society to commemorate Kerry’s seafaring saint.

By |May 15th, 2023|Categories: Uncategorized||

International Museum Day 18 May: The Night Sky in Irish Folklore by Seán Mac an tSíthigh

Join us at Kerry County Museum on Thursday 18 May at 7:30pm for a fascinating talk by RTÉ journalist Seán Mac an tSíthigh. Drawing from old manuscripts, Seán will explore aspects of the night sky in Irish folklore. While Greek and Roman traditions may dominate our perception of the constellations today, the Irish once had their own native understanding of the stars. In this talk old star-names, origin legends and folk-beliefs about the stars will be revealed, offering an imaginative rendering the night sky and a forgotten tradition. This is a free event to mark Bealtaine and International Museum Day but please note that places are limited and booking is required. The event is likely to sell out.

To book please call the Museum at 066 7127777. All museum’s galleries are spread out over three floors and can be accessed by elevator, if required. Please call us or email education@kerrymuseum.ie if you have any special requirements or would like to discuss the details of your visit in advance of the event.

By |May 2nd, 2023|Categories: Uncategorized||

Bealtaine event 4 May: Curator’s Tour – Behind the Scenes of Kerry County Museum

Please join us at kerry County Museum on Thursday May 4 at 11:30am for a Behind the Scenes Tour with Curator Helen O’Carroll. Helen will reflect on some of the museum’s award-winning exhibitions and discuss the museum’s varied collection. This is a free Bealtaine event for Kerry Archaeological & Historical Society’s current and prospective members. If you are not a member yet but are curious about becoming one, why not come along on the day – all are welcome! All the museum’s galleries are spread out over three floors and can be accessed by elevator, if required. Please call the Museum at 066 712 7777 or email education@kerrymuseum.ie if you have any special requirements or would like to discuss the details of your visit in advance of the event.+ GOOGLE CALENDAR+ ICAL IMPORT

By |May 2nd, 2023|Categories: Uncategorized||

Drop-in Arts & Crafts on Saturday 29 April

Kerry County Museum is open throughout the May Bank holiday weekend from 10am until 5pm. A special treat awaits on Saturday 29 April: Join our fabulous facilitator Helena Stackpoole for free drop-in arts and crafts between 11am and 3:30pm. To mark Bealtaine, traditionally celebrating as the beginning of summer, Helena will explore some Irish flowers and plants through arts and crafts. Booking is not necessary and the cost is included in our regular admission fee (€5 for adults and children go free as part of our family offer).

What else is there to do for families? You can experience life in medieval times, dig up Viking skeletons, explore the extraordinary story of Tom Crean’s adventures in Antarctica and much more. Simply ask for our activity booklet at Reception and start your journey around the Museum. We also have a fun spotter sheet to explore Tralee Town Park after your visit.

By |April 26th, 2023|Categories: Uncategorized||

Easter at Kerry County Museum: Kids go FREE and lots of fun activities for families

Did you know that we are open throughout the Easter bankholiday weekend? Visit Kerry County Museum during the Easter school holidays and explore our exhibitions and fun activities. Follow our Easter bunny trail, relax with some spring colouring and fun arts and crafts and learn all about Kerry’s colourful history. A special treat awaits on Easter Saturday at 12noon and 2pm – join Ann Fitzgerald for a traditional Punch & Judy puppet show. All events are free of charge and are included in the admission fee of €5 per adult/ €10 family ticket. Our opening times over the easter bank holiday weekend is as follows:

Good Friday: 9:30 – 5:00 (last admission at 4:15pm)

Easter Saturday 8 April: 9:30 – 5:00 (last admission at 4:15pm)

Easter Sunday 9 April: 10:00 – 5:00 (last admission at 4:15pm)

Easter Monday 10 April: 10:00 – 5:00 (last admission at 4:15pm)

By |April 4th, 2023|Categories: Uncategorized||

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