It’s hard to distinguish between the myths and realities of Puck Fair, an annual street festival held in Killorglin near Killarney in southwest Ireland.
They say it’s the oldest fair in all of Ireland and somewhere in its 400 years of history, the reason for its being has been forgotten.
Of all the explanations proffered, the most popular story has to be our favourite. It’s said while English raiders were pillaging the region they attempted to round up a herd of wild mountain goats only for the animals to take flight. The alpha-male, or “puck”, lost contact with the herd and headed to the town of Killorglin. His arrival there in a state of distress and exhaustion alerted the inhabitants to the approaching danger, enabling them to make the necessary preparations to protect themselves. Get a taste of last year’s festival:
Whatever the festival’s origins, each year the town gathers for one massive party of live music, drinking, and a cattle fair all oriented the championing of a puck. In fact, the centrepiece of the event is the literal crowning of temporarily tamed mountain goat captured from the nearby countryside.
A packed three-day programme of events kicks off on Friday (August 10) with a horse fair. Throughout the remaining days and nights there’s a mix of activities aimed at kids and adults ranging from a free children’s circus workshop to live bands.
The coronation ceremony at 6pm on Friday is surely unmissable, and the Sunday lunchtime performance of “Acting the Goat” by Edso Crowley and Gerry Bayham sounds like a pretty intriguing event.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…