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Puck Fair hits all the right notes for fans

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AS PUCK FAIR 2016 draws to a close, visitors to the town can not only look forward to what promises to be a spectacular fireworks display at midnight tonight. Once again, the dedicated and passionate members of the Puck Fair committee have come up trumps to deliver a festival even bigger and better than the last. Day one of Puck Fair, known as ‘Gathering Day’ got off to a great start, with buyers, traders and tourists alike flocking to the Horse Fair, located at the foot of the town’s iconic bridge.

Ireland’s longest-running horse fair always proves to be one of the main attractions of the festival, with an electric atmosphere created by the banter between buyers and sellers, the intriguing trade stalls and of course, the beautiful horses, ponies and donkeys that take up residence in the field for the day.

Dr Pixie McKenna and Dr Phil Kieran from RTÉ One’s popular show, ‘You Should Really See a Doctor’ were also on hand at the Horse Fair site to consult with visitors experiencing any aches, pains or ailments!

Following the Horse Fair, the Coronation Parade and Ceremony unsurprisingly drew thousands of spectators to the Puck Fair stand, where this year’s King Puck was crowned by the 2016 Queen – 12-year-old local schoolgirl Kerry Lynch. The crowds that had gathered applauded the beautiful goat king as he took his place on the main stand, taking in the sights and sounds of one of Ireland’s oldest festivals.

Speaking of this year’s main attraction, goat catcher and Puck Fair committee member John McGrath revealed: “The goat has put on weight since he joined us – he's on good grass! He'll go back now and tell all his friends he had a great time!”

Day two of the festival – or ‘Fair Day’ as it is traditionally known – picked up where the previous day left off, with performers and musicians entertaining the masses on every street corner. The beautiful craft fair was once again in full swing on Library Place and tourists milled around the colourful stalls to purchase mementos of their Puck Fair experience. Families with young children happily posed for photographs with King Puck himself and the variety of Disney characters and superheroes parading through the town, while the youngest festival goers were kept busy with the Bonny Baby Competition during the afternoon – won by Dean Joseph (2 years and 7 months old), from Killorglin.

The second day of festivities came to a successful and enjoyable end with excited country music fans gathering in front of the town’s main stage to see the fabulous Mike Denver perform. Geraldine O’Sullivan of the Puck Fair committee said: “Over 8,000 people showed up see Mike Denver last night – the biggest crowd we’ve had since Mundi played in 2008.”

As ‘Scattering Day’ quickly came around marking the final day of Puck Fair, those staying in and around Killorglin began gearing up for the Dethronement Parade and to bid farewell to King Puck.

Speaking about the success of this year’s festival, Chairman of the Puck Fair committee Declan Mangan said: “Standing here on the morning of the last day of Puck Fair and looking around at the amount of volunteers who stayed around, you appreciate the work they do. You couldn’t have a festival without the efforts made by the volunteers, working for hours upon hours and they never question anything – just ask them to do it and they’ll do it. I think they’re one of the real secrets behind the success of Puck Fair.”

He added: “The whole package – the committee, the workers, the townspeople, the visitors, the entertainers – all work together to make up the whole unique package that is Puck Fair.”
 


 
Irish country music sensation Mike Denver with fans at Puck Fair.

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Killarney girl has an important part to play in Rose Festival

By Michelle Crean A little Killarney girl has had her dreams come true after being selected as a Rose Bud in this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival. Chloe Nott […]

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By Michelle Crean

A little Killarney girl has had her dreams come true after being selected as a Rose Bud in this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival.

Chloe Nott (7) from Fossa was thrilled to find out that she has been paired with Arizona Rose Sophie Owen.

She’s now super excited as the Festival kicks off tonight (Friday) and is looking forward to being part of the big parades which attract thousands to the streets of Tralee tomorrow (Saturday) and again on Sunday.

“We found out about three weeks ago, she was picked from hundreds from all around the country,” Chloe’s mom Gemma told the Killarney Advertiser.

Last Saturday the Rose Buds came together for the first time in the Meadowlands Hotel in Tralee where they met the Kerry Rose Édaein O’Connell and received their sashes.

Tonight (Friday) they’ll enjoy a party in the Meadowlands and have a busy weekend meeting and greeting people when they take part in the Festival’s activities including a trip to the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium.

“I’m so excited to meet my Arizona Rose,” Chloe, who is going into Second Class in Fossa National School, said.

Gemma and her husband Eric and son Luke (9) went to Reidys in Killarney to tell Chloe the exciting news.

“My mom gave me a rose and told me I was a Rose Bud. After she told me I was bursting with excitement.”

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Killarney Races celebrates 200 years

Killarney Races celebrated 200 years of racing yesterday during the opening day of AugustFest, an exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival that will run until tomorrow (Saturday) inclusive. Kerry Senior Football Captain […]

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Killarney Races celebrated 200 years of racing yesterday during the opening day of AugustFest, an exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival that will run until tomorrow (Saturday) inclusive.

Kerry Senior Football Captain Sean O’Shea, with a host of fellow teammates and back-room staff, escorted Sam Maguire to the racecourse arriving by jaunting cart to take part in the bi-centenary celebrations.

Racegoers of all ages were thrilled to get up close with the Sam Maguire Cup and our fantastic Kerry football legends.

AugustFest at Killarney Races offers patrons great racing, history, socialising, entertainment and so much more at Ireland’s most scenic racecourse. A special bi-centenary admission package was available on the opening day offering patrons admission, a racecard and a €5 free bet all for €20 which went down a treat with punters. With many bringing their jerseys and cameras along to make the most of the double celebrations at the Kerry track.

The first race at Killarney Racecourse was recorded in 1822. In the early days, the meetings were supported by Lord Clanmorris and the Earl of Kenmare, the feature race being the Kenmare Stakes from 1826 to 1830. The current racing venue located at Ross Road held its first race meeting on 20 July 1936 and Ontario was the first ever winner at the track, winning the 1½ mile handicap hurdle, in the hands of jockey Willie O’ Grady.

During the August racing festival, a special commemorative marquee featuring a wonderful collection of memorabilia and photographs from the last 200 years is open to all in attendance for the duration of the festival.

“We celebrated a major milestone here at Killarney Races, two hundred years of racing in Killarney which is amazing,” Killarney Racecourse Chairman, Gerard Coughlan said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all locals and visitors to Killarney to come along and be part of the 200 year celebrations during AugustFest!

With two more fantastic days of racing in store and lots of ticket levels and packages including food and beverage options to choose from, whether it is close to the action general admission tickets or silver service fine dining, there is something for everyone at Killarney Races. Live music, fashion, and fun for all the family complement the best of summer racing at the track this August.

Patrons are advised to book online and come along early to enjoy the stunning views, facilities, delicious food, live music on the lawn and soak up the boutique festival atmosphere for which Killarney Races is famous.

Adult tickets and packages are available from €20 and children under 14 go free ensuring a great day out for all the family. For those who love a deal, the punter’s pack is a great value-added option and if you want to live it up check out the Maurice O’Donoghue Suite and Panoramic Restaurant options. For all ticket details and festival programme information visit killarneyraces.com.

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