Thanks to AerialAgriPhoto for this amazing video of the event!
Record crowds lined the streets of Carrick-on-Suir last Saturday evening to view the spectacle of the town's Christmas Tractors Parade, which smashed its own world record for the largest convoy of illuminated vehicles.
The festive pageant attracted more than 20,0000 people, including visitors from all over Ireland, providing a major pre-Christmas economic boost to the town's shops, restaurants and hotel.
It was the largest parade in the event's four-year history with a fleet of 35 tractors festooned in fairy lights taking part led by Santa in his sleigh. Visiting tractors from Cork, west Waterford, Kilkenny, Carlow and Limerick joined the local Crop Cruisers group of tractors in the parade. Tractors from the Co. Antrim based "Grassmen" group also participated.
A popular new addition was the participation of ten children and their Christmas light decorated toy tractors in the final leg of the parade up to the finish at New Street Car Park. The tractors began their journey into Carrick-on-Suir from the Dungarvan Road and trundled their way through Carrickbeg, over a beautifully lit Dillon Bridge down Main St., through West Gate and Sean Kelly Square to O'Mahony Avenue. At the end of O'Mahony Ave., the convoy turned onto John Street and then onto New Street to the finish. Spectators made a bee line for the New Street Car Park at the end of the parade to view the tractors, meet Santa and enjoy the fairground amusements.
Farmer Stuart Downie, the parade's creator and chief organiser, was delighted at the huge turnout and declared the event a "massive success" with a great festive atmosphere.
He said they were blessed with fine weather, which meant conditions were ideal for spectators and the tractor drivers hadn't to contend with mishaps like lights falling off their vehicles because of rain and wind.
Mr Downie said they more than doubled their world record for the largest illuminated convoy of vehicles by displaying just under 100,000 fairy lights. The Guinness Book of Records were aware of the feat, he added.
Funds were raised at the parade for the Brain Tumour Support Group and Make a Wish Foundation. Mr Downie said an estimated €1200 was collected for the two charities at the event. Cheques will be presented to their representatives early next year.
In the meantime, Stuart and his friends in the Crop Cruisers are planning their next adventures. They are in discussions about taking part in an event in Tramore next spring and possibly attempting a world reverse driving record.