Part of the 2019 Drogheda Púca Festival Parade which was hampered by pouring rain.
Fáilte Ireland has decided to suspend the Púca Festival for 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19.
The National Tourism Development Authority and festival partners Meath County Council and Louth County Council remain committed to hosting the festival next year and will now focus on building awareness of the Púca Festival brand and driving demand for 2021.
Last year, at the inaugural Púca Festival, thousands of people gathered at locations across Meath and Louth to celebrate Ireland as the original birthplace of Halloween with a programme of events including live music and performance, light installations, and a recreation of the symbolic lighting of the Samhain fires on the Hill of Ward.
This year, due to restrictions, celebrations will be virtual with a broadcast of a recording of the lighting of the Samhain fires on the 31st October and a content driven social media campaign to tell the story of Halloween’s origins in Irish and Celtic traditions.
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Orla Carroll, Director of Product Development at Fáilte Ireland said:
“Following a lengthy review, we have made the difficult decision not to proceed with the Púca Festival this year as we believe the present circumstances make it unviable.
“This decision is based on a number of factors including the timelines and advance planning required for festivals and events combined with the current public health guidance on mass gatherings. The decision to suspend the Púca Festival this year is disappointing but unavoidable.
“We will however still be celebrating Ireland as the home of Halloween online and across our social media channels this year ahead of what will be an even bigger and better Púca Festival in 2021.”
Jackie Maguire, Chief Executive of Meath County Council said:
“Although the Púca Festival will not proceed this year, we are doing our utmost to work with tourism businesses to support them during this very challenging time through staycation marketing campaigns to highlight safe outdoors activities including family attractions like Tayto Park, our world renowned heritage assets and many other tourism businesses.
“Working alongside our partners Fáilte Ireland and Louth County Council, we will be planning towards a welcome celebration of the Púca Festival in 2021. In the meantime, we will be keeping the story of the origins of Samhain to the forefront on social media this October.”
Joan Martin, Chief Executive of Louth County Council said:
“While it is disappointing that the Púca Festival is unable to proceed this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Council confirms its continued support of the festival and looks forward to welcoming tourists to the festival in 2021.
“The focus this year will be encouraging staycations and the continued support of tourism businesses in the region. I would encourage local people to explore the Boyne Valley this year and experience the many delights on their doorstep in both Louth and Meath.”
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