The Arizona Colleen and Rose programs encourage young women to take pride in their Irish heritage and get involved in the Irish community.
- Participants in all programs must have some Irish ancestry
- Judging is based on communication skills, poise, personality, talent, wellroundedness in life, an essay (Lass and Colleen), and Irish pride
- All titleholders receive a tiara and prize package and represent the Arizona Irish community at area events
- All contestants ride in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade
History of the Arizona Colleen and Rose Programs
The Arizona Colleen and Rose of Tralee Selection 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. Every year in February the Arizona Colleen is chosen, and she and her court reign over the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Faire which follows. Along with the crown and the title “Arizona Colleen” the winner is also awarded jewelry, $1,000.00 in scholarships, and a free trip to Ireland.
For the first time in 2008 and in honor of our 25th anniversary, the Arizona Colleen participated as the Arizona Rose in the Rose of Tralee program. The 2009 Arizona Colleen competed as the Arizona Rose at the 50th Anniversary of the Rose of Tralee International Festival in Tralee, County Kerry. It is a televised event and offers a world tour as part of the prize package.
Also 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 Outstanding Irish Teen program, retitled the Arizona Irish Lass program in 2010, selects two 13-17 year olds.
The Colleen and Rose programs are organized by the St. Patrick's Day Parade and Faire Committee. The goal is to promote awareness among young people of their Irish community and culture and to get them interested and involved in the many activities and events happening in the Irish communities here in the Valley and throughout the state.