HORSE FAIR: Timmy Buckley, Terence McGough and Paddy McKew from Killarney at Puck Fair last year. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Organisers of Puck Fair have taken steps to reduce the annual horse fair element of the three-day festival to just one day this year.
Ireland’s oldest festival, set for August 10 to 13, traditionally opens with a horse fair in Evans Field.
In recent years horse traders tended to arrive a day early to set up trading stalls and prepare for the first day of sales.
The fair committee, like all festivals and events in Ireland, is facing insurance difficulties and even launched a GoFundMe fundraising drive to help meet the insurance shortfall this year.
It is understood that the move to make the horse fair a one-day event is on foot of insurance requirements with festival officials citing health and safety concerns as the reason behind the move.
“With buyers, sellers and spectators expected to visit the famous horse fair in their droves, organisers are keen to emphasise the importance of adhering to the schedule, particularly in the interest of health and safety for all,” a festival spokesperson said.
“While free family fun for all ages is of course top of the agenda, the organisers of the three-day extravaganza are conscious to highlight this important change to one of Puck Fair’s most famous elements, so that it will run smoothly from start to finish.”
Aside from the famous horse fair, this year’s event is jam-packed with an array of live entertainment, street performers, dance and music workshops, and much more.
You can play your part in the continuation of this age-old festival by donating to Puck Fair’s GoFundMe campaign, visit www.gofundme.com/puck-fair-2019.