Wednesday 18 September 2019

Knockbridge Vintage Rally is roaring success 13th year in a row

Aoife Walsh

Droves of vintage fanatics turned out for the 13th Annual Knockbridge Vintage Rally and Working Day on Sunday for a weekend filled with dancing, tractor demonstrations, car shows and more.

Chairman Tom McGeeney said that the family-friendly event, which is held outside Dundalk, Co Louth, was such a roaring success that they're already planning next year's gathering.

He told that you have to keep changing it to keep things fresh every year.

Mr McGeeney said that the turnout for the show has been "as strong as ever", thanks to concerts featuring Declan Nerney.

"It grew for the first five or six years, then it kind of stayed static for the next five or six years, then in the last four years it's going again steadily, that wee bit more every year. Maybe that was just the introduction of Declan Nerney, a bit of music into it, a bit of light entertainment.

"He's been coming for four years past now, and that's working very well. He's booked again for next year. He works well, he likes the vintage himself. He connects with the audience.

"We've noticed we have a lot of teenagers, a lot of young fellas and girls coming in around 2.30 in the day. They're not coming in for the vintagem so they must be coming in for the music and the jiving and that sort of thing," he added.

"We introduced a combine demonstration from the 50s and 60s were there was five combines working from the 1950s and 60s altogether."

The event, which costs €10 for adults but is free for children, is filled with activities catered towards all ages.

"We have a big emphasis on children and families. A bouncy castle would of satisfied them a few years ago - but everybody has a bouncy castle in the back yard now so it's getting something else in to entertain the children. Little competitions, little things like that, animal farms was another thing we put into it this year," he said.

"We held a jiving competition as well, and that's an area we think is growing. There were about 30 or 40 couples in it this year, and I wouldn't have been able to pick the winner. It's brilliant," he added.

It is also an opportunity for vintage car enthusiasts looking to showcase their prize classic motor.

"We had a lot of vintage cars this year, that end of it is growing as well. It's even outgrowing the tractors for some odd reason - I don't know why that is, it's 2:1 and it used to be the opposite," Mr McGeeney said.

"The thing about the vintage cars is your widening that circle, there are people here from Kilkenny, Tipperary, Co Derry, Ballymena, Galway, and Sligo, Ballinasloe, all up the west as well."

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