Co. Westmeath will see a host of tractors – both old and new – gather for a great cause at the third Ballinagore Macra annual charity tractor run this bank holiday weekend.

This year the chosen local charity is the North Westmeath Hospice, having raised funds last year for the cancer support charity LARCC Cancer Support.

The run will kick off at the Ballinagore GAA grounds, which is located just a couple of minutes from Kilbeggan and Mullingar.

There will be a change to the route taken at this year’s event, taking in local townlands and villages such as: Ballinagore village; Raheenmore; Dalystown; Castletown Geoghegan; and Loughnagore.

Image source: Galway Agri Video’s

All makes or models of both new and vintage tractors are welcome – while the local classic American car club has supported the run in previous years with a range of bikes, cars and pickups taking part in the run.

On Sunday (May 6), registration will begin at 10:30am and there will be a chance for people to enjoy a cup of tea and refreshments, while everyone gets a chance to view the selection of machines on display.

After returning to the GAA grounds following the run, there will be a barbecue and raffle – both being generously supported by local businesses. There will be a wide selection of raffle prizes on offer, organisers have assured.

Each registration pack, which will cost €25 on the day, will include: a commemorative tractor/car sticker; commemorative key ring; information on the amazing work that the North Westmeath Hospice Charity do in the county; and information about the activities of Ballinagore Macra.

Tractor run

Commenting on the event, Ballinagore Macra member Karen Elliffe said: “In the first year of the run we had over 70 tractors and last year we had almost 90 tractors. So we are ambitiously aiming to top that figure again.

“With the weather forecasted to be good for the weekend and plenty of ploughing and sowing yet to be done, we are under no illusion that there will be a great temptation for farmers to keep the tractors working.

But – snow, rain or shine – our fantastic charity supports people and families during the most difficult of times.

“So what better reason to take a couple of hours off on Sunday to support a great charity,” she said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for donations to the hospice; if anyone wishes to make a donation, they can do so on the page here. More information on the run itself can be obtained from the Ballinagore Macra Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the national final of the Macra na Feirme National Talent Competition will take place in the Mullingar Arts Centre on Sunday evening after the tractor run.

Ballinagore Macra has extended a welcome to people who may be travelling from across the country to the event to come and enjoy the barbecue – hopefully in the sunshine – while supporting a worthy cause.