THERE’S a packed programme of events lined up for the two-day spread of this year’s National Steam Rally in Stradbally, which takes place this bank holiday weekend.
Gates open at 10am on Sunday, August 5, with numerous trade stands and displays of vintage vehicles.
There will also be tractor-pulling and a chance to enjoy a steam train ride through the woodlands of the Stradbally Hall estate on the narrow gauge railway.
The first and second rounds of the Irish Pony Club competition for the Cosby Cup will take place, there will be a parade of steam engines through the town, and The Ratheniska Marching Band will parade the Steam Queen participants, before this year’s Steam Queen is announced.
There will also be a Queen of Steam competition, Beer in the Bucket competition, musical chairs, sheep dogs trials and a presentation of prizes by the new Steam Queen. Musical entertainment will be provided by ‘The Keepers’.
On Monday, August 6, gates will again open at 10am and all throughout the day there will be numerous trade stands, a carnival, steam threshing, stone crushing, a saw bench, displays of vintage vehicles, and helicopter rides. There will also be a mobile pet farm and a further round of tractor pulling.
A slow steam race will take place, where the person who goes from one end of the field to the other is deemed to be the winner. The second heat and the final of the Queen of Steam competition will also take place and there will be more from the Beer in the Bucket competition. There will also be more musical chairs and beer barrel rolling.
Rounding off the rally on Monday, there will be further vintage displays, sheep dog trials, exhibits of lorries and fire engines and further presentation of prizes by the new Steam Queen.
The rally will finish at 6pm each day, although entertainment will continue throughout the town of Stradbally until late.