After the success of their new route last year, which included travelling to Banbury Cross, the tractor run team are eagerly preparing for the assembly of the festive convoy to take their tour again for their 8th annual event in aid of Katharine House Hospice on Saturday 16 December.

The event records have already been broken by a huge uptake of sponsorship this year: 54 out of the maximum number of 100 tractors have been sponsored by local businesses. This has already raised over £13,000 before the convoy has even set off!

Jennie Steenkamp, Event Organiser and Director at RC Baker Ltd commented: "The support for our event has been nothing short of remarkable, prompting us to shift our focus towards sponsorship this year, with the aim of giving as many local businesses as possible the opportunity to be part of the event. We are thrilled with the enthusiastic response we've received. With more than half of the fleet sponsored, it is not only fantastic but also a game-changer for our fundraising efforts,"

Jennie elaborates, "While it costs £35 per ticket for a driver to secure a coveted spot in the convoy, our sponsorship packages start at £150, reaching a top tier at £500. This tiered approach significantly influences our event's scale and impact. The generous sponsorships play a pivotal role in ensuring the success of our Christmas Tractor Run. But it's not just about the numbers; it's about the community 
coming together to make a meaningful difference whilst at the same time watching an event that has become a festive highlight and tradition for many."

The event is all in aid of Katharine House Hospice, who are close to the hearts of many in the community. Roseann Thompson, Community Engagement Manager at Katharine House Hospice commented: "The overwhelming response to sponsorship has truly exceeded our expectations, and the broad community support for the event continues to leave us in awe. A heartfelt thank you goes to 
Hella and Banbury BID for their generous contribution towards the essential traffic management costs.

"We're also immensely grateful to TWE, who, in collaboration with the tractor run team, have adorned one of their trucks with text-to-donate information, adding a unique and impactful dimension to the convoy. While the Banbury Christmas Tractor Run exclusively features tractors, the innovative approach with the sign-written curtain-sider truck provides an exceptional means to highlight the crucial avenues for donation. We couldn't be more excited!"

Roseann continued, "During this cost-of-living crisis, many charities are finding it harder to raise funds and Katharine House Hospice is no different. As such, this event is so important to us and we’re so grateful to RC Baker, the sponsors, tractor drivers and of course to our amazing local community who we hope will support us again this year. Please donate what you can: every donation will make a 
difference to all our patients and their loved ones over Christmas and beyond. Our specialist teams work tirelessly both in the hospice and out in the community, 365 days a year. Thank you."

Departing as usual from Spring Hill Farm in Barford St Michael at 5pm, the tractors will take their usual route travelling through the villages of South Newington, Milcombe and Bloxham. From Bloxham they will continue along the A361 into Banbury. Upon reaching the traffic lights in Banbury, the tractors will turn left, down to the Banbury Cross. They will drive around the Cross and back up South Bar (retracing their steps) and continue along the Oxford Road (A4260) to Adderbury.

Once in Adderbury the convoy re-joins the previous route, passing the home that this event is all in aid of, Katharine House Hospice 
and then continue to Aynho. From there they will travel along to Clifton, through Deddington (via the Market Place), Hempton and back through Barford St Michael to Spring Hill Farm.

Find out more about the route and timings

The team have once again secured full support and assistance from the local authorities and appointed a traffic management specialist to help them safely navigate the route. The organisers are asking that people please park responsibly and considerately to ensure smooth traffic flow during the evening – there are plenty of places to watch the convoy, but it is important that everyone does so from a sensible spot and parks safely to prevent avoidable delays. The event has grown in popularity since its first run in 2016, where it had just 26 farmers take part.