THIS year’s 53rd annual Woodcote Rally will take place tomorrow (Saturday) and on Sunday.
Thousands of people are expected to attend the charity event, which will feature 32 full-size steam engines and 24 miniature ones, 173 tractors, 38 stationary engines, 58 commercial and military vehicles, 185 vintage and classic cars, 130 old motorbikes and 17 models.
New attractions will include a steam-powered popcorn machine which was due to come last year but couldn’t make it at the last minute.
Fifty tables will be set up in the craft tent and there will be more than 1,000 stalls in the trade area.
There will be working animal displays and parades and a “country area” with a children’s farm, a birds of prey demonstration, a potter, storyteller, wood turner, willow weaver and chainsaw wood sculptor.
The children’s section will offer inflatable obstacles, quad bikes, a climbing wall and a Punch and Judy show as well as horse rides, a dog agility show and a Wild West display.
A fun fair will be running and the Campaign for Real Ale will host an ale festival. Other stalls will be selling Pimm’s, wine, Prosecco and a range of food.
There will be live music by the Cholsey Silver Band, Woodcote Unplugged and rock band Ready or Not as well as a free concert for Woodcote residents at 6pm tonight featuring rock band Rush Keeper.
Organisers spent last weekend cutting and baling up the grass at the festival site, off the A4074 just north of the village, and filling in potholes on the access road.
Spokesman Andy Crockett said: “Things went a little slower than hoped but the weather forecast for the rest of the week is good and dry so we should easily make up lost time. We look forward to seeing everyone at the weekend.”
The rally has been running since 1964 and has raised £441,500 for charities, community groups and other good causes in the Woodcote area. Last year it made £16,500.
It runs from 10am until 11pm on the Saturday and 10am until 6pm on the Sunday.
Tickets on the gate cost £10 per day for adults, £5 for children or £20 for families.