Christmas tractor truck lights spectacle planned for Mullingar
A Christmas Tractor Truck Lights spectacle will pass through Mullingar's main streets this Saturday evening in aid of the Children's Ward at Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar.
Just after 6 o'clock on December 19, those who are out shopping are asked to stay in the town and take to the streets to watch the festive tractor train as it passes by, as it's guaranteed to bring plenty of joy to spectators.
Organised by Adrian Moran from Whitehall, every year he does something for the local children's ward, and this year wanted to do something extra special to bring a little light in what has been a dark year for many.
"I do something for the children's ward in Mullingar every year. My own son had to have corrective eye surgery when he was small in Crumlin, and that year I raised money for them.
"Every year since I see so many raising money for Crumlin and Temple Street, but I thought why not do something for our own hospital here in Mullingar who could also do with a bit of help," he tells the Westmeath Examiner.
Adrian began fundraising for Mullingar's children's ward in 2016, and with the help of Mags Carter at the hospital, purchases different pieces of equipment from the money raised.
"It could be anything from DVD players for the kids to lava lamps. We've also purchased equipment for the autism room, and small tables and chairs for the playroom.
"Every year Mags Carter in the hospital tells us what they need and we go out and get it for them."
Since Adrian posted the festive tractor run to social media he says it has gathered momentum, and thinks there will be a big turnout for Saturday evening's event.
Anyone participating in the run will make a donation, while there will be people out on the streets of Mullingar with buckets collecting from onlookers.
Gda Karen Goldrick has organised support from An Garda Síochana in Mullingar, while Pat Pat Nea and Christy Brady will be helping Adrian organise the event.
"Our one rule for taking part is the more lights the better, it should be a huge spectacle for the kids and bring a bit of excitement to the streets."
Adrian is advising motorists to stay away from the Mullingar by-pass from around 5.30pm onwards, as that is where the tractors will meet.
Participants will begin to queue from around 5.30pm onwards, westbound on the hardshoulder of the Mullingar by-pass heading for Sligo, between the Delvin and Castlepollard exits.
The run will then pass Mullingar Hospital, and on through Mullingar's main streets from the Green Bridge to the Delvin Bridge.
"We are asking people to stay on the footpaths, stay safe, and enjoy the spectacle."