Puck Fair is the oldest street festival in Ireland; the annual event has been running in Killorglin without fail between the 10th-12th of August for over four hundred years, and is one of most unusual fairs in the world.
Although you might first think its beginnings start with Shakespeare and a certain mischievous fairy from A Midsummer Night's Dream , the most widely held belief is that the fair stems from Oliver Cromwell. Ironic really, considering he banned theatre, and all other sorts of entertainment.
The story goes that when Cromwell's Roundheads were pillaging the area of County Kerry, they scared off a herd of goats. The Billy or 'Puck' (which is the name for a goat-like woodland sprite) wandered into the village of Cill Orglain (which today is called Killorglin), and warned the villagers of the approaching danger. As a result, they were able to protect themselves, and to honour the goat, held a celebration, crowning him 'King Puck'.
Puck Fair is a weekend for all, so whether you're a homegrown Killorglin or only visiting Ireland, it is an event to put in your diary. This year is particularly special as they are adding an extra day to the celebrations, starting on the 9th August.
Entertainment includes traditional music by Tim O'Shea. Irish dancing, fireworks, parades, bands, and a horse fair. You can also join in a number of activities, including a busking competition, trad session, and burying a time capsule.
The highlight of Puck Fair, as always, will be the coronation of Queen Puck. All the former queens will gather together for the dethroning parade and ceremony, after which, the new queen will be announced and coronated.