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Killorglin, in the heart of Ireland’s County Kerry, hosts one of Ireland’s most unusual street festivals this weekend, the Puck Fair. The event is one of Ireland’s oldest fairs, held annually on Aug. 10, 11 and 12 with 12 hours a day of free family street entertainment. This year, to celebrate its 400th anniversary, the fair has added events on Friday.

The event has been traced to a legend that tells of Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentary army, the “Roundheads,” pillaging the countryside near Killorglin. While a startled herd of goats grazing nearby fled for the mountains, one male goat, or “puck,” is said to have headed instead for Killorglin. His arrival in a state of near exhaustion alerted the inhabitants to the approaching danger, and they immediately set about protecting themselves and their stock. The story says that to honor the goat’s service, the town has held a festival every year since, in which a goat is crowned king of a make-believe kingdom. For a list of events, see http://puckfair.ie/programme.


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