« Back18 Roses take to the stage tonight

18 Roses will take to the stage tonight for the first of the televised shows from the Dome.

NO REPRO FEE: Solo Run... Rose of Tralee host Dáithí O Sé p were presented to the media at a photocall in RTÉ. The countdown to the 2012 International Festival has begun as the roses presented Dáithí O Sé with 32 red balloons, to celebrate his 32nd day of marriage to Rita Talty, with each balloon symbolising a special wish* for the newly married couple.Pic Mac Innes Photography

The 65 Roses have been whittled down to 32, the first of which will be live on RTE from 8 pm this evening.

The big moment has come for 18 of the 32 Roses tonight as they take to the stage for the first of the two televised shows.

While 65 Roses started out over a week ago, the final 32 were confirmed yesterday.

The 18 Roses appearing on-stage tonight, in no particular order, will be Kilkenny, New Orleans, Cavan, Kentucky, Monaghan, South Carolina, Ottawa, Germany, Cork, Abu Dhabi, Kildare, Queensland, Louth, Sydney, Scotland, Newcastle/ Gateshead, Newfoundland & Labrador and Roscommon.

Meanwhile, The Kerry Rose, Danielle O’Sullivan, will appear on TV on Tuesday night, while the Offaly Rose, Emma Kirwan, will be the first Rose to represent her county.

The first of this year’s Rose of Tralee contestants take to the stage from 8 pm this evening.