TRACTOR mad tots will be lining the streets of Ballinrobe this Saturday for its annual Christmas Lights Tractor Parade. The event, which takes place at 6pm, is in its second year of existence and has proved to be a huge hit with the young and not so young.
Children are encouraged to bring along their own toy tractors while taking in the glittering cavalcade of decorated tractors. This year organisers are hoping to create a party atmosphere with the parade concluding at Abbey Street. This will give families a chance to get a closer look at the lit up tractors.
Speaking to The Mayo News, one of the event organisers Richard Burke said it promises to be even better than last year.
“People were saying there was about 1,500 to 2,000 in town last year for it and we would expect that again if not better,” said Burke, adding that funds will be raised for Crann Mór on the evening and the event is sponsored by McHale’s.
Asked how the idea for the novel event came about, the businessman said he had seen it in Tipperary.
“I just thought there was nothing like that up here and we’re in an agri area. The feedback from last year was huge. We reached Swedish and New Zealand media, it was really positive,” said Mr Burke, adding that people should be in the town early to get a good viewpoint of the parade.
“It will be starting at 6pm sharp but people could come in early and get a bite to eat and do a bit of shopping around the Christmas Markets.
Other events taking place over the ‘Christmas Festival’ weekend in the town include Christmas Markets in the library archway and The Valk on Friday and Saturday.
Santa arrives in town at 3.30pm on Friday, where he will be making his way to Ballinrobe Library to meet all the children until 7pm. Along with this there will be a gingerbread men and DIY ‘Toy Show Goody Bag’ workshop in the library.
Before Saturday’s tractor parade children will again get a chance to visit Santa in his grotto at the library from 12noon to 5pm.
The festival will wrap up on Sunday with the town’s first ‘Santa Dash’, a 5km run, walk, jog or ski, dressed in your best festive gear, from a big red suit and beard, to a Christmas jumper and tinsel. It starts at The Green at 11am on Sunday morning taking in a 5km loop of Carnalecka, Entry is €5 and U-12s go free. Funds raised will go towards Crann Mór.