The Rose of Tralee gets underway tonight, with the event celebrating its 60th anniversary.
A major overhaul of the selection process means that Rose Centres will only have a contestant in the live shows every two years.
Organisers decided to get rid of the unpopular method of cutting the Roses down from 66 to 32 the weekend before the live broadcast.
It was argued that the pressure of reaching the live televised event was unfair on the Roses.
This means that Cavan and Monaghan will not be represented in this year’s competition.
However, Meath Rose Meghan Byrne says that it has already been the best experience of her life.
Meanwhile, Longford Rose Marie Brady says she is looking forward to enjoying the “magic” of the event after a difficult build-up.