The first Sunday in December means the Coasters MCC Toy Run. It is the first Toy Run of the festive season in County Louth. All shapes and sizes of bikes and bikers come together for this marvellous event. This year’s event was a spectacular success with 135 bikes escorting Santa through the medieval streets of Drogheda to the Lourdes Hospital.
Luckily the weather held up more or less. There was a heavy shower at 1:30 and a lot of bikers got a soaking on the way to registration in Blackrock Co. Louth. The roads are so dirty, it’s impossible to keep the bikes clean for show off purposes. There was a lot of wasted elbow grease as road crud had taken the shine off some of the magnificent machines.
The Toy Run involves bringing a toy for a child and Santa gives these to the children in the Lourdes Hospital paediatric ward and paediatric A&E.
There are three Toy Runs in Co. Louth in December. First up is the Coasters MCC to the Lourdes Hospital Paediatric and A&E wards. The following Sunday, Ramrods MCC, Santa visits Drumcar School for children with intellectual disabilities. The third, An Tua De Dannan Toy Run goes to the Women’s Refuge in Drogheda and Santa leaves toys for the children to enjoy and gifts for the mums as well.
The Coasters MCC Toy Run route was through Castlebellingham, Kilsaren, Ardee & Collon. There was some rain on the last leg from Ardee to Drogheda. Happly, none of the bikers melted in the rain. The bikers assembled on the Drogheda bypass. They had coffee, tea and one had a hot chocolate with marshmallows. Santa was waiting for darkness to make the biggest impression possible. The Coasters MCC engineering corps had to deal with a major technical issue. Santa’s sleigh had a power failure. All the stops, plugs, fuses, wires and connections were examined to establish the nub of the problem. Eventually there was a work around. Santa’s sledge hit the road fully luminated and pulled along by the very able George & Emma Hoey trike. The spectacle was wonderful. A Garda escort facilited the parade of 135 bikes though the town and safe arrival at the hospital.
There was a large crowd to welcome Santa. Everyone loves Santa. Young and old appreciate his aura as he gently moves through the crowds and spreads a generous dose of the feel good factor. The children who have to be in hospital at this time were delighted to see Santa and they all received an appropriate gift. Santa played a stormer.
Special thanks to Peter Tormey who made this video covering this year’s Coasters MCC Toy Run. Watch out for the four Santas.