Ever wanted to visit the Emerald Isle? Go during the Puck Fair; you won’t be disappointed. Ireland’s oldest festival, which means Fair of the He-Goat, takes place at Killorglin in County Kerry, Ireland and attracts thousands of spectators from all over the country who come to welcome their new king – for the meantime, at least. The king is no other than a poc, or a wild goat that’s been captured from the surrounding hills. It might sound too bizarre to be true, but the festival has been ongoing since 1603. The highlight of the festival is the crowning of the captured goat, after which it’s placed on a stand right at the center of all the action for the duration of the festival. But don’t worry, the welfare of the goat is a top priority of the locals – he’s fed and given water, and returns to the wild after the festivities. The goat is then introduced to a “Queen Puck”, a role that is usually assigned to a local girl who dons a crown.
‘The Puck Fair and its goat-centered traditions are so ingrained in the culture of Killorglin town it has become the lifeblood of the community; it simply doesn’t get any more Irish than this!’
However, the exact origins of the rituals remain unknown. There are many speculations and theories, but more importantly, this event is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to be immersed into all the wonder that is the real Irish culture.
There’s more to the festival than just goats: there are two parades that happen during the crowning and dethroning of the king, entertainment in the form of live traditional music, theatrical acts, and horse and cattle fairs. Attendees can also marvel at the eccentric as well as modern knick-knacks on display at the many stalls and tents. The festival culminates with a crazy fireworks show and circus acts. Watch out for the intimate workshops for pipe, circus, and drums – but they’re on a first come, first served basis. There will be many wholesome and family-friendly activities during the day, but for some good times Irish style, wait until the sun goes down! The thrilling open-air concerts are open to all.
The Puck Fair takes place at Killorglin, located on the Ring of Kerry Road.
The best way to explore this charming town is by foot. If you’re coming from Tralee or Killarney and taking a car, there are parking areas available at the Annadale Road Car Park, Killarney Road, and Tralee Road.
Killorglin is a tiny town, and there are no hotels to be found. However, for an authentic experience, check out the beautiful bed and breakfast rentals around town.
Another option is to book a hostel, hotel or Airbnb at the nearby Tralee or Killarney. Head to the map below for the best deals in the area.
Killorglin is a small town filled with historical treasures that will transport you to another time. Some historical attractions include the Blennerhasset Monument, the Carnegie Building, Tom Lawlor Bronze Bust, Old Mill, Iron Bridge, and of course, the Puck Goat Statue.
The only kind of nightlife here are the pubs, but they’re a dime a dozen and a ton of fun. Have your fill of local beers and come with an open mind – Irish pubs are MUCH more fun than you think!
Puck Fair takes place on August 10-12, 2019.
Book your stay nearby Puck Fair 2019 from the map, displaying all the available Airbnbs and hotels nearby, at the lowest prices.
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