All roads lead to the Rock Inn Vintage Rally this weekend, an event which has become an popular fixture over the May bank holiday weekend.
The rally is now in its 16th year and is very much established as a major social event at the start of May.
In addition to being a great family event, the vintage rally is also an important charity fundraiser for Laois Hospice.
“Our planning is nearly finalised and every day someone else is contacting us who wants to take part,” said Liam Delaney, secretary of the Rock Inn Vintage Club.
‘A local young band, Sin a Bhfuil have offered to play at it and any donation they get has been pledged to Laois Hospice,” Mr Delaney said.
The festival is very much geared to suit all the family while also appealing to the vintage enthusiast.
The rally weekend kicks off on Saturday, April 29 with the Vintage Tractor and Car Run from the Rock Inn, starting at 2.30 pm.
This will involve two different routes, one for cars and one for tractors.
Around 30 tractors are expected to participate in the run, which is expected to be quite a spectacle.
Refreshments will be served afterwards in the Rock Inn.
This run is the forerunner to the main event, which is the Rally itself on April 30. The grounds will open at 12 noon on the day.
The event will feature numerous vintage steam vehicles on display, along with dozens of vintage cars, tractors, motorbikes and small machinery, all of which are in pristine condition and will be proudly displayed.
The Cooper family from Coolrain will also be present with the Irish Grand National Cup, won recently by Our Duke in Fairyhouse.
“As well as the Irish Grand National Cup, we have a few surprises planned as well,” Mr Delaney said.
There will also be extensive family entertainment to keep the younger ones entertained, which will be enclosed for additional safety.
Included among the attractions will be bouncing castles of various sizes and slides to keep energetic younger members of the family entertained.
A popular event which returns this year is the competition to win a large garden shed, which is sponsored this year by Park Engineering.
There will also be a selection of auto jumble, as well as antique stands.
The threshing display is eagerly anticipated and is expected to be very popular again this year.
Mr Delaney said this is always one of the most popular items on show, with Luke Tynan doing the threshing and Jimmy Hyland doing the baling behind him. Moling Lalor and Ned McEvoy will also be on hand to display vintage methods and machinery.
“It brings a lot of people back to their youth,” Mr Delaney said.
One of the highlights of the weekend will be the popular Vintage Rally Cabaret. The band booked this year is The Big Spoon.
SEE ALSO – Bord na Mona’s plans for Laois bogs sought