The Coronation Parade – The early morning Horse Fair marks the opening hours of the first day of Puck; the stall-lined streets, the Performers and the Amusement Fair are busy all day entertaining the crowds. The ‘Big Man’ himself – King Puck – waits until late afternoon to make his Grand Entrance. This event is surrounded with all the Pomp & Ceremony befitting the Regal Ruler of Ireland’s oldest Festival. By 5pm on Gathering Day (August 10th ), the excitement begins to build, as people begin to take up positions along the Parade Route – they want to make sure they have the best vantage point for their first sighting of this year’s King. The Parade includes Floats sponsored by local businesses, sporting & other organisations, marching Bands (local & visiting), colourful characters, entertainers and so on, which lead the parade through the town. The penultimate Float is that of the Puck Queen. By tradition, the Queen has, since 1948, been selected from girls in their final year at the local primary school. Nowadays, girls make written application, outlining why they would like to become Queen. A shortlist of applicants is interviewed, from which the Queen and her Ladies in Waiting are then chosen. This Float also includes a number of Young Warriors, selected from the same age group. The very last Float in the Procession hosts the most important personage – his Royal Highness, King Puck.
The Parade follows the same route each year – it assembles on the Tralee Road by the Fishery Pub. It then crosses the Bridge and goes straight up to the Puck stand at the top of the Hill. King Puck is officially welcomed to Killorglin, and following the Crowning Ceremony, is hoisted onto the upper reaches of the Stand from where he reigns over his loyal subjects, and all he surveys, for the duration of the Festival.
The Closing Parade – 5.30pm on Scattering Day /Aug. 12th – culminates in the Ceremonial Dethronement of King Puck, and his subsequent release back to freedom in the Kerry Mountains. Assembly for this Parade is at the Fire station; it then travels along the Iveragh Road to the Plaza, from where it turns right onto Upper Bridge Street and onto the Square. At the Puck Stand, the King is brought down from his lofty perch to abdicate his brief reign, and say good-bye to his loyal subjects. He is placed onto his Float; the Parade continues its journey back over the Bridge to the Fishery. From here, King Puck is fully relieved of his duties and the Goat Catcher takes him away, returning him to the mountainy ranges overlooking Killorglin, from where he had been captured a few weeks previously.
Watch the 2015 Coronation Parade
Watch the 2015 Dethronement parade
Watch the 2014 Coronation Parade
Browse some images of the Puck Fair Parades