Returning to Co. Meath from Friday 28th to Monday 31st October 2022 across festival hubs Trim and Athboy, Púca 2022 is an authentic, immersive and otherworldly festival, developed by Fáilte Ireland in partnership with Meath County Council, to celebrate Ireland as the birthplace of Halloween. When light turns to dark and the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead thins, the creatures of Samhain, Ireland’s ancient Halloween tradition, come to life.
Now in its 3rd year, Púca is a 4-day festival full of events, music, tours, and celebrations to mark Samhain. According to legend, Samhain, the ancient Celtic festival, has strong links to County Meath in the Boyne Valley. It is believed that over time Samhain and All Saints'/All Souls influenced each other and eventually syncretised into the modern Halloween.
On the 29th of September, the Púca Festival local launch revealed details of the spectacular closing ceremony festival goers can expect to witness, as well as a significant addition of free events that joins the already multi-talented and varied festival programme.
These are the events that you can expect over the 4 days of the festival in the hubs of Trim and Athboy.
On Friday there will be self-guided treasure hunts in both Trim and Athboy. These can be taken at any time. You will follow the clues through the town, collecting pieces of information while piecing together tales of folklore, Halloween and reported hauntings. Solve puzzles, complete challenges, and explore historic landmarks. This is a FREE event.
A “haunted Trim” walking tour with take place with local tour guide, Cynthia Simonet at 6.30pm. Reveal dark hidden mysteries and historical figures as you tread the eerie, historic streets of Trim. Learn about mythology and folklore as you feel the legends gather around you. Tickets are €9 per person plus the booking fee.
The Sorchas na Samhna commences on Friday night in Athboy at 7.30pm. A unique, diverse, and entertaining show that combines traditional circus with ultra-modern lighting, dancing, and special effects sure to delight and amaze you. Tickets are €10 pus booking fee.
Performers on the main stages on Friday evening in Trim include Lisa Hannigan, Cathy Davey, Imelda May, Neil Delamare, Sinead Quinlan and more. Tickets can be purchased for all these events on the Púca website.
Another packed day of events awaits on Saturday the 29th. The self-guided treasure hunts continue in Trim and Athboy as well as the haunted Trim walking tour.
In Athboy you can take part in the “Tlachtga - Hill of Ward Tour” or a foraging and Herbology Walk of Tlachtga. Away With the Faeries Games start on Saturday in Athboy and Trim where you will form part of a small Irish town and will be assigned a secret role within it.
On Saturday in Athboy you can also enjoy the Sorcas na Samhna and Candlelit Tales - Storytelling in the Darnley Lodge Hotel. Spend the evening at the The High Kings at the Darnley Lodge Hotel to finish the evening in Athboy.
Trim will also be a hive of activity on Saturday with the Jack O Lantern’s Food & Craft Market, the Déise Traditional Village Experience, Banshee Bingo Hall, and the Boann Boat Tours - Floating Through Time with Boyne Valley Activities. Gluias - Púca Halloween Choir will perform on the Boann Stage at 3.30pm followed by Seo Linn at 4.30pm. Don’t miss the beautiful Púca animation projected onto the special Canvas of Trim Castle created by Cartoon Saloon. This starts from 5pm.
On Saturday evening, the opening procession will commence in Trim. The Arrival of The Spirits: join the Samhain Procession as it weaves its way through the eerie dark streets of Trim, making its way to the Magical Trim Castle. This must see illuminated procession is high energy and is full of large-scale processional pieces, music, fire, and performances! Dressing up is encouraged!
Also on Saturday evening in Trim you can enjoy the Pyro Collective Fire Show, The Academic & Sorcha Richardson, comedian David O’Doherty, Martin Angolo, and The Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow Cabaret.
Sunday 30th promises to be an amazing day of activities and events in Trim and Athboy for the Púca Festival. The self-guided treasure hunts continue in Trim and Athboy as well as the haunted Trim walking tour.
In Athboy you can take part in the “Tlachtga - Hill of Ward Tour” or a foraging and Herbology Walk of Tlachtga. Away With the Faeries Games continue Sunday in Athboy and Trim. The Sorcas na Samhna also continues Sunday as well as the Candlelit Tales in the Darnley Lodge Hotel. Spend the evening at the High Kings at the Darnley Lodge Hotel to finish the evening in Athboy.
Athboy will host Samhain Circus (over 18’s) on Sunday evening. After dark falls, Samhain circus celebrates the Púca’s proclivity for mischief with the crème de la crème of creepy cabaret, hair raising high wire acts, burlesque and sideshow elements, fire performances and much, much more. This promises to be a night of laughs, gasps, and the best in cheeky cabaret in a beautiful circus tent.
In Trim on Sunday expect more entertainment with the Jack O Lantern’s Food & Craft Market, the Déise Traditional Village Experience, and the Boann Boat Tours - Floating Through Time with Boyne Valley Activities. Céilí Workshop - w/The Irish Music Ensemble will perform on the Boann Stage at 2.45pm followed by Sharon Shannon at 4.00pm. The Púca animation projected onto the special Canvas of Trim Castle created by Cartoon Saloon continues from 5pm.
Luke Eastwood - Talk & Reading on Samhain takes place in Brogans upstairs at 6.30pm. The headliners on Sunday evening include Blindboy Live Podcast, Gavin James and N.O.A.H, Jason Byrne, Stephen Mullan and more.
If you still have some energy left on Monday for Halloween, then there is plenty for you to look forward to on the last day of the festival. In Athboy, as well as the same events that have taken place on Saturday and Sunday, you can look forward to The Samhain Fires lighting and closing ceremony on the Hill of Ward and the Fairgreen. Stay on the Fairgeen for entertainment with Triple Goddess and Kíla. Abbaesque dress up party starts in St James Hall at 8.30pm and the Samhain Circus will take place on the Fairgreen. A fantastic line up of events for Athboy!
You are also in for a treat on Monday in Trim where all the events from Saturday and Sunday will continue during the day. The Hidden Station - Live Podcast will be on the Morrrigan stage from 6pm. Block Rockin’ Beats, King Kong Company, HamsandwicH, Joanne McNally (sold out) are the headliners in Trim on Monday evening.
This year’s festival promises to be the best one yet in the Boyne Valley and the region can’t wait to welcome people from far and wide to celebrate Halloween! Remember, The Spirits of Meath Halloween festival also runs alongside the Púca Festival with events starting on the 01st of October until the 6th of November. Find out more on their website here.
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