The key organiser of Christmas Tractors of Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary, has thrown down the gauntlet to RTÉ’s Ryan Tubridy to feature its hugely popular event on The Late Late Show.
“We have featured on Canadian TV but not on RTÉ and we contacted The Late Late Show in the past, but never heard back,” said dairy farmer Stuart Downie of the Crop Cruisers, which host the agri sparkle fest.
“This is year eight of the event, which started a nationwide phenomenon and we have people travelling from various parts of the country, with 30 to 40 tractors taking part.
“In the past, we even had someone come over especially from Australia.”
The grand parade of tractors decked out in Christmas lights will take place this year on Saturday, December 18.
“It will take in five towns, three counties and two provinces,” said Stuart.
Last year, the Crop Cruisers’ tractor drivers took account of cocooners and prevented a build up of large crowds in Carrick-on-Suir town by taking the show on the road through rural communities.
That approach is being taken again this year.
“It works well for the tractor drivers who spend hours decorating their tractors, and also for the public who can enjoy the atmosphere in town when the tractors park up,” Stuart said.
The festive pageant will start in Piltown, proceed to Fiddown, cross the River Suir into Co. Waterford and pass through Portlaw, Clonea and Rathgormack and onto Carrick-on-Suir.
New Street car park, opposite Carrick-on-Suir town hall, will be the finish point for the convoy. Christmas amusements and stalls will add to the ambience there, and Santa will be out and about too.
The plan is that the convoy will leave Piltown at around 5.15p.m and be in Carrick-on-Suir at approximately 7:00p.m. Those with Covid-19 concerns can view the parade along the route. The funds raised from this year’s event will go to Clare’s Wish Foundation which grants the wishes of terminally ill adults.
“The event appeals to all ages. Preparing the tractors is a lot of work but when you see how much it has meant to people, especially last year, it makes it all worthwhile,” said Stuart.
And as for a Late Late Show appearance, it’s a case of ‘have tractors, will travel’ for Stuart and the team, who are hopeful that Ryan Tubridy’s enthusiasm for all things festive will extend to illuminated tractors.