Hear ye, hear ye – a new queen has arrived in town! With the annual Puck Fair celebrations just around the corner, preparations for the biggest event of the year are already well underway in Killorglin and an integral part of that is the selection of her royal highness, Queen Puck. The selection process sees an independent judging panel trawl through all the entry letters from 6th class pupils across the region before interviewing each hopeful and hearing them read aloud the famous Puck Fair welcome speech, which is recited during the Coronation Ceremony on the festival’s opening day.
The legendary 3-day event, which runs annually on the 10th, 11th and 12th of August, is Ireland’s oldest gathering festival and revolves around the crowning of a wild mountain goat as King Puck and overseer of the town. The festival’s ancient traditions date back to 1613, but over four centuries later the popularity of this unique event shows no sign of waning, with visitors from all over the globe flocking to Killorglin every August to witness the royal festivities with their own eyes. One little lady who is especially excited for this year’s celebrations is 12-year-old Maeve McCarthy from Cromane Lower in Killorglin, who has just been crowned as Queen of Puck Fair.
Maeve, a student of Scoil Réalt na Mara in Cromane, will now take her rightful place among a long list of former Puck Queens, each of whom has played a central role in Puck Fair over the decades. Much like her predecessors, Maeve’s duties will include meeting and greeting visitors to the festival, addressing the crowd in the town’s main square on day one of the fair and of course, the all-important crowning of King Puck during the Coronation Ceremony. Although a lot of responsibility will fall on her royal shoulders, it seems that Maeve is most certainly up to the task,The 2019 Puck Fair line-up is looking more promising than ever, with the usual wide range of free family fun activities, children’s entertainment and musical acts on the agenda. For information and updates on Puck Fair 2019, visit www.puckfair.ie or follow @puckfair on Facebook and @puck_fair on Twitter.