Royalty summoned to Kerry

By order of King Puck, royals around the world are being invited to Kerry.

Kings and queens, far and near, are to receive invitations to the centuries-old event.

While finishing touches are currently being put to plans for next month’s Puck Fair in Killorglin, Co Kerry, organisers are also well advanced with preparations for next year’s 400th anniversary event.

The 2013 festival will be a red-letter event in the south Kerry market town.

Puck Fair, which prides itself in having Ireland’s only king — a male mountain goat — is issuing a right royal invitation to other monarchs.

Despite the special anniversary being just over a year away, Queen of Puck Claire O’Sullivan has announced all the kings and queens of the world are being asked to attend.

The list includes Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip despite the fact King Puck did not receive a similar invitation to the recent diamond jubilee celebrations.

“Next year is the year of the Gathering and Puck Fair has celebrated a Gathering Day for more than four centuries,” said fair chairman Declan Mangan.

While details of the 2013 fair are being officially announced in the autumn, he said the royal invitations would be sent out early.

“We know the monarchs of the globe have busy schedules and we want to make sure they get ‘Puck 400 and More’ into their diaries well in advance,” said Declan.

“Royals traditionally attend their counterparts’ celebrations so we’re hopeful we’ll get a good show.”

This year’s three-day Puck Fair will take place on Aug 10-12 and will feature plenty of family entertainment.

Traditional elements of the fair are still very strong, the highlight of which is the horse sale held on the first day, Gathering Day.

On the opening night, a goat will be crowned King Puck after a colourful parade through the town.

Open air, night-time concerts will feature the Electric Céilí Band, a Garth Brooks tribute band, Friends In Low Places and The Camembert Quartet.

The festival will finish with a massive fireworks display at midnight on Aug 12.

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