Bridgette Abbott, 27, will be representing Newfoundland and Labrador at this summer’s International Rose of Tralee Festival. The annual festival celebrates both Irish culture and the accomplishments of young women with Irish heritage around the globe.
As custodian for the province this year, Abbott is hoping to bring along the spirit of small town Newfoundland and put it on full display.
“I grew up in a small outport community where everyone leans on everyone’s shoulder, just like if look back to when the Irish settlers came here and had to work together to survive,” Abbott said. “I hope to leave a happy and lasting impression. Our culture is rich, we love our music, we love to have fun, we’re very warm and giving.
“I hope I can reflect that during my presentation and through my onstage presence.”
The festival, which runs from Aug. 17-21, includes a tour around Ireland to visit various pubs, businesses and historic sights. Abbott is one of 32 women coming from abroad back to the country of her ancestry.
Abbott auditioned for the festival with several other young Newfoundland women. Using skills acquired through her small business “Pretty Ugly”, Abbott played a homemade ugly stick along to some traditional Newfoundland folk music as part of her audition.
Being formerly crowned Miss Newfoundland and Labrador in 2014 was also a helpful experience in helping Abbott display her talents.
When she finally got the news that she had been selected, Abbott says she was estatic.
“I was so overwhelmed,” she said. “Every one of us would have been a fantastic selection, it was such a great group of girls.
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