We’ve all seen and been in awe of the coca-cola Christmas truck, but for a small town in South Tipperary that’s old news, as this Christmas ten tractors paraded down the main street of Carrick On Suir making the whole town come out and stand proud.
It was one of the biggest success stories to come from the South East and was arranged by local man Stuart John Downie backed by the support of friends and family.
Stuart told the liberal:
”I came up with the idea from friends telling me that they went to see the Coca Cola truck and were queuing for ages to see it. I figured why not deck out the tractor for the laugh and trundle down the Main street. I roped in a few of my friends and the whole thing took off.We had people from as far away as Athy and Limerick looking to bring tractors down and join in.
We funded the entire event ourselves, we each spent over 100 euro and we all took our tractors away from work by 1 pm that day. The local traders and COSBA(Carrick On Suir Business Association) were a huge help for us. Glanbia in Carrick Beg gave us the use of their grain store for the evening to decorate the tractors away from the damp weather and prying eyes and COSBA funded the insurance of the car park. The gardai then jumped on board and we were up and running”
I was there on the night and I was astonished by the crowds that gathered to support the men, Stuart told us:
”I was completely astonished when I was halfway across the main bridge and saw the crowds. Nothing could have prepared me for it. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw everyone. I thought the event was a success and was delighted with the reaction it’s been getting. After getting such a positive reaction it’s safe to say we’ll run next year again and we’ll try step it up another gear. It’s a free event and always will be. We’ve given it to the people of Carrick and as long as they want us to come to town, we will light Carrick up each and every year”
Reports in one of todays newspapers have announced that the tractor run was a charity event and raised thousands. Stuart was left upset and angry with these false allegations and was anxious to set the story straight:
”Having read the report today that we were raising for charity, it made my blood boil. From the outset we always stated that no charity was involved and to hear that someone had collected for a charity using our event really annoyed us. I didn’t see any collectors on the night so I’m hoping it’s a piece of journalism that was misprinted but it’s never nice to see something printed about us that’s untrue. This was always and will always be a free event for Carrick and we will never charge anyone to come see us. People have enough expense on them at Christmas so this was just something small that they could come and see and stand up beside the tractors. It’s not every day you get to see 10200 lights on the move with a combined horsepower of 1850 and a weight of over 60 tonnes”
”I’m sure other towns around the country will catch onto the idea now but we started it first. Carrick will always be the original home of The Christmas Tractors and we will build on our success this year. Plans are already underway for next year and we have a few surprises already planned”
Here’s hoping RTE catch on to next year!!