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, while 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 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, all of 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.
Young Warriors, selected from the same age group, travel on the last float in the procession which hosts the most important personage – his Royal Highness, King Puck.