ORGANISERS of one of the longest St Patrick's Day parades in the country have vowed to keep the fundraising event running – despite the impact of rising fuel costs.
However the cost of petrol has seen the Dripsey Vintage Club's annual St Patrick's Day, in aid of the Cork City Hospital's Children Club run cut to a shorter route this year.
The mileage on this year's road run, in will be shorter than usual with tractors covering 12 miles while the car run will cover 35 miles.
"A lot of vintage cars are very heavy on petrol, and are from a bygone era. We would have people travelling 30 miles to and from the run, and then when the run itself is taken into account they may have used six or seven gallons of petrol.
"When you take in the €20 entry fee it is a lot of money to take part," John Fehilly of Dripsey Vintage Club said this week.
The run will start from Griffins Garden Centre at 12 noon. The tractors will travel east to Magoola, Fairy Cross Roads, Ballyanly, Callas, Berrings, North Kilmurry, Model Village and back to Griffins Garden Centre.
The cars will exit west via Coachford, turn left at Macroom Bridge, take the next right and re-group on to Toomsbridge, Kilmichael, Beal na mblath, Crookstown, re-group at Farnanes, on to Coachford, Dripsey and finish at the Garden Centre.
It is not the first time that the recession has impacted on festivities in the area.
Dripsey originally hosted Ireland's shortest St Patrick's Day parade, in which participants started in one of the village's two pubs, crossed the road, and concluded the procession in the second pub.
That tradition was dealt a blow five years ago when one of the two pubs closed, and the vintage run assumed the mantle of the showcase St Patrick's Day event in the area.
This is the club's fifth run and to date almost €10,000 has been raised for charity.