Thousands to flock to Carrick-on-Suir for Christmas Tractors Parade 

Aileen Hahesy

Reporter:

Aileen Hahesy

Tractors taking part in last year's Christmas Tractors of Carrick-on-Suir parade

The 4th annual Christmas Tractors of Carrick-on-Suir Parade this Saturday evening is to be the biggest yet with more than 35 fairy light festooned tractors taking part that look set to break another world record for the most illuminated convoy.  

Visitors from all over Ireland will flock to Carrick-on-Suir to watch the festive pagaent that for the first time will include children pedalling their fairy light festooned toy tractors. 

The organisers of the Christmas Tractors Parade have selected ten children and their toy tractors to take part in the last part of the parade and lead the convoy to its finish point at the New Street Car Park. 

Last year's parade was watched by an estimated 20,000 and the organisers are hoping even more will visit the town to watch this year's pagaent.  

Farmer Stuart Downie from Tybroughney, Carrick-on-Suir, the parade's founder and chief organiser, said visiting tractors from Cork, west Waterford, Kilkenny, Carlow and Limerick are joining his Crop Cruisers Group of six local tractors in the parade. Three tractors from the Co. Antrim based "Grassmen" group are also taking part. 

Stuart recalled that their second parade broke the world record for the largest convoy of illuminated vehicles featuring 39,500 lights. He estimates this year's parade will smash that record with the tractors decorated in an estimated 100,000 fairy lights. 

Children from as far as Roscommon and Youghal will be travelling to Carrick to take part in the parade in their pedal tractors. The Junior Christmas Tractors are a new addition to the parade.  

Santa will travel in a sleigh in the parade and he will be joined by the two winners of the Christmas Tractors of Carrick Parade colouring contest winners 7 years-old Charlie Skehan, from Ballyneale and 8 years-old  Katie Power from Portlaw. 

The parade will start at  5.30pm with the tractors convoy leaving from their start base on the Dungarvan Road, travel through Carrickbeg and over Dillon Bridge to get to the town centre. They fleet of tractors will then travel down Main Street, through the West Gate, Sean Kelly Square and onto O'Mahony Avenue. At the end of O'Mahony Avenue, the parade will turn right up the N24 and turn right again up New Street to finish at New Street Car park

There will be a amusements and face painting at the car park for children, who will also be able to view the tractors and meet with Santa after the parade. 

Stuart said donations will be collected during the event for the Brain Tumour Support Group and Make a Wish Foundation. 

Carrick-on-Suir Business Association, which is supporting the event, said this car park will be closed throughout Saturday to facilitiate the amusements and parade finale. 

"There will be some unavoidable traffic delays from 5 to 6 pm on Saturday and we would ask that everybody comply with the traffic management plan in place and follow the instructions of the stewards," said a COSBA spokesman. 

COSBA thanked the Crop Cruisers, Tipperary County Council, the Gardai and stewards for making the event possible.