'Drive into the night' at the Abbeyshrule Christmas tractor run

Kevin Forde

Reporter:

Kevin Forde

Email:

kevin.forde@longfordleader.ie

Picture - Abbeyshrule Xmas lights tractor run

The annual ‘Drive into the Night Christmas lights tractor run’ is set to take place in Abbeyshrule this coming weekend.

This year’s event takes place in Abbeyshrule on Sunday, December 8, coinciding with the annual Abbeyshrule Christmas fair in the Rustic Inn, which runs from 12pm until 6pm, ensuring a full day of fun is most definitely in store for all in attendance.
All tractors are welcome to take part in the tractor run, though must be road legal. Although Christmas lights are not compulsory, they are advised to help bring some more Christmas cheer to the area.

Registration for all interested parties takes place from 3:30pm on the day at a cost of €20 per tractor, with no pre-booking required. Registration will take place in the village centre .

Organiser John Maye explained, “We will be departing Abbeyshrule at 5pm on Sunday evening, with registration from half three on the day and a €20 entry fee per tractor.

“All tractors welcome, whether they are decorated or not, but the decorations really add to the Christmas spirit.

“Tractor parking will be at Corncrake meadows and registration will take place in the village itself. We will have a trailer outside for registration.” he added.

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The full route for this year’s event is in excess of 30kms and has been confirmed online. The convoy of tractors will be passing through Ballymahon. To find out the full route head over to the official Facebook page - Abbeyshrule Xmas lights run.

John remarked, “The route will be about 33/34kms and we will be going through Ballymahon at about half five.

“We aim to be back in Abbeyshrule at around 7pm.”

A raffle will also take place on the day with an extensive list of prizes kindly donated by local businesses. There will also be refreshments following the completion of the journey in the Rustic Inn.

“We also have a raffle and tickets will be available for purchase on the day.” John said.

“A lot of local businesses have kindly given us a lot of vouchers and prizes towards it.

“We are very thankful for the support locally, especially locals around Abbeyshrule,” he added.

As well as the raffle, Santa Claus is also set to make an appearance as part of a returning Christmas ‘train’.

John explained, “We have a Christmas train on the day. It was there last year too.

“It will be bringing Santa through the village at 3pm for the crafts fair.

“It will be staying for a few hours to bringing children for rides around the village, free of charge.”

Also read: Festive cheer on show at Newtownforbes Christmas crafts fair

Last year saw the team welcome in excess of 70 tractors, which enabled them to raise in excess of €3,000 for charity. €2,000 was awarded to Mental Health Ireland with the remaining €1,000 donated to the Abbeyshrule tidy village team for their efforts.

“We raised just over €3,000 last year.” John said.

“€2,000 of which went to Mental Health Ireland and we gave €1,000 to Abbeyshrule tidy villages.”

This year’s chosen charity partner is Jigsaw, a mental health service for young people. All funds raised will be split between the chosen charity and Abbeyshrule tidy village.

John said, “This year we are partnering up with Jigsaw, a young people’s mental health charity.

“Abbeyshrule tidy villages will also get a share of what is raised as well.”

“We have to thank all of the locals around Abbeyshrule. We are looking forward to seeing everyone on the day.”

The team behind the annual Drive into the Night Christmas lights tractor run have also set up their own Instagram page to allow people to follow their festive journey. You can do so by searching christmaslightstractorrun.

For those looking to help out and volunteer to help out this year or for further information on the event, you can contact John on 0877848206.

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