Looking for an Irish Festival with a difference? Then Puck Fair is the festival for you. Puck Fair is one of the oldest festivals and fairs Ireland has to offer and is traditionally held on 10th, 11th and 12th of August. The picturesque town of Killorglin, in County Kerry, is home to Puck Fair. This is truly one of Ireland’s most unusual street festivals not to be missed.
For further details please read on…
The town of Killorglin lies in the shadows of The McGillycuddy Reeks. Killorglin is located in the geographical heart of County Kerry, in spectacular settings in southwest Ireland. County Kerry is also referred to as ‘The Kingdom’ due to its splendid and natural beauty.
The 10th August is the opening day of Puck Fair, also known locally as “The Gathering Day” as this is a day when old friends meet and new friendships are forged. On this day a wild mountain goat is hoisted onto a platform and crowned “King of Puck Fair” by the “Queen of Puck” who is a local Killorglin girl selected each year to represent “The Queen of Puck”. This years Puck Fair Queen is local 12-year-old Cassie O’Grady. Prior to the festival, locals capture a wild mountain goat from the mountains and it is on the first day of Puck this goat is then crowned King with a coronation ceremony. This years goat is a native of Ballycastle!
There are many stories about the reason for crowning a goat King, it has been suggested that it is linked to pre-Christian celebration for a fruitful harvest and that the male goat or “Puck goat” was seen as a pagan symbol of fertility, like the pagan god Pan! Whatever the reason to sum it all up: for three days and three nights the people of Killorglin crown a goat king, the goat acts as king, and the people act the goat!
There really is something for everyone at the Puck Fair Festival with excellent entertainment for both young and old including some free family entertainment! The line up of activities is sure to please, from face painting to a wobbly circus, puppet shows to an amazing funfair, traditional set dancing and music sessions, horse fairs, cattle fairs, music gig rigs with top artists belting out their latest hits, and much much more. This year artists: Aslan, Onora, The Woodbines and Kila will be taking to the stage during the festival.
The horse fair, which is a popular and well-known fair in all corners of Ireland and beyond, takes place on the first day of Puck Fair attracting thousands of people from all over. The cattle fair takes place on the second day of Puck known as “Fair Day” on 11th August, this too attracts thousands of people from both near and far. Here you will witness the haggling between farmers with some added humour.
On the last day of Puck, 12th August referred to as “Scattering Day” the festival officially comes to an end and the goat is dethroned accompanied by a parade in the evening. The event finishes with a spectacular fireworks display at 12:00am.
The atmosphere at Puck Fair is one to be savoured and at every turn
there is something to see or enjoy. Bar exemptions are in place during
the three day festival and are open until 3:00am. You can also enjoy
traditional Irish music and song in many of the pubs throughout the
Puck Fair is a festival steeped in history and welcomes over 100,000 visitors each year. If you are visiting Puck Fair this year, it is advisable to book your accommodation well in advance. Check out our Killorglin accommodation pages and book securely online today.
For further details on this year’s Puck Fair Festival check out the official Puck Fair 2009 website.
Have you been to Puck Fair before? What did you think of this festival? Perhaps you would like to share your comments with us. Please feel free to leave a comment in the comment box below. Thank you.