WELCOME TO BALLINA SALMON FESTIVAL

One of the largest, family-friendly community-based festivals in the West of Ireland

Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland River Moy
Colourful character in Ballina Salmon Festival 2017 Mardi Gras

Welcome to Ballina Salmon Festival!

Now in its 54th year, Ballina Salmon Festival is one of the West of Ireland’s longest running family festivals, attracting crowds of over 250,000 annually to the North Mayo Capital.

The festival was originally named the ‘Moy Salmon Festival’, based on the fact that Ballina was home to one of the best rivers in Ireland, with the best fishing waters and salmon in the country. This is of course the case to this day, and Ballina, with its strong fishing heritage  is known today as the ‘Salmon Capital of Ireland’.

Ballina Salmon Festival is proud of its diverse programme, community ethos and family focus.  One third of our festival’s programme is dedicated solely to children, making Ballina the perfect holiday destination for visiting families during festival week. New events are introduced annually to keep the festival fresh and exciting.

Ballina Salmon Festival aims to celebrate Ballina life along the breathtaking Wild Atlantic Way – our past, our present and our future. We aim to showcase Ballina and the stunning natural beauty surrounding us in the North Mayo region to the world.

In working with our local artists, musicians and volunteers, we wish to celebrate in our diverse festival programme our talents, our culture, our heritage and our unique status as the Salmon Capital of Ireland.

Ballina Salmon Festival is a time to welcome home our Mayo diaspora and open our arms to new visitors. It is our wish that if you arrive as a stranger, you leave as a lifelong friend.

Ballina Salmon Festival takes place from 8th – 15th July  2018.

We look forward to welcoming you!

SCHEDULE

A Full Schedule Of All The Events This Year

From 1pm on the River Moy
Opening Day - Family Fun Day!

What a great opening day we have in store this year. In a throwback to festivals of yore, our opening day will take place on the River Moy. Expect on-river competitions and displays on the river complete with live music and lots of fun. Watch this space for updates!

More information coming soon!

In years gone by, The Moy Swim was one of the highlights of festival week, as local swimmers battled it out in the world-famous River Moy for the coveted victory. We're delighted to be reviving the event this year as part of our opening day and look forward to a highly competitive race.

Full entry details coming soon!

After our opening event on Sunday 8th July, make a night of it with some live music in the town centre. Local band The Kerbs are Mark McHale (vocals & guitar), Alex Stupar (lead guitar), Noel Gallagher (bass guitar), and Kevin Holmes (drums). They are making waves with their unique alternative rock sound. 2017 saw them excite crowds at sell-out shows in their home county and in Dublin while their music received airplay on iRadio, RTE2XM, KCLR 96FM, & 8Radio to name a few. 2018 is proving even more exciting with more sell-out live shows, new single release ('Creep'), and the much-anticipated release of their debut EP later this Summer. Afterwards get your dancing shoes on for Ireland’s liveliest Celtic Rock band Bog O’The Loughs LIVE! "The Bogs" are one of the best bands on the scene and will get Ballina Salmon Festival party off to a rockin' start. And if you can't get enough, catch them afterwards in the Shambles Bar in Ballina Manor Hotel.

More info coming soon

An absolutely cracking afternoon of fun and fitness challenges is in store as Ballina's biggest obstacle course challenges anyone who wants to take part! Prepare to roll up your sleeves and "muck in" to seek glory for yourself and your team!

More details coming soon!

Though not a Ballina Salmon Festival event, it's a tradition that Ballina Agricultural Show happens at the start of Festival week. We're delighted to see them back this year after a brief hiatus, bringing with them a great day-long programme, and we're looking forward to a great day of authentic Irish agri-fun. Admission €10 per adult. Children accompanied by an adult go free.

MORE INFO
11am, Ballina Tourist Office
Historical Walking Tour of Ballina

Ballina is a town with a colourful, fascinating history dating back thousands of years. What better way to learn about that history than to embark on a walking tour of Ballina with one of our very own local historians? Carmel Hughes on her fascinating tour will point out landmarks and buildings of historical interest and share some of the fascinating stories of our market town's history. Tours start at 11am sharp from Ballina Tourist Office, Pearse Street (opposite the Jackie Clarke Collection) and admission is FREE.

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This year Ballina Salmon Festival is proud to announce a new and nostalgic event, recreating the glorious years of the "Dance Hall Days" with a twelve-piece Big Band and a fantastic mix of classic national and local acts. This wonderful event will feature a stellar line-up from days of old right up to the present with special guests as follows: ❖ For one night only, the world famous “Jack Ruane Showband” presents Judd & Jack Ruane. ❖Shaun O'Dowd (formerly Shaun O’Dowd & Ding-a-ling) ❖ Keith & Lorraine Showband Show ❖ Frankie Mc Donald, (formerly with the great Joe Dolan), ❖ The Conquerors Band featuring Tony Maher & Frankie Collahan, ❖ P.J Duffy ❖ Pearse McNamara ❖ Joe Ryan ❖ John Haugh ❖ Dave McDonnell ❖ Peter McDonald MC on the night is the inimitable Henry McGlade of The Irish At Home and Abroad. Bring your dancing shoes and dress to impress - it's going to be a cracker!! Dance floor, seating and licenced bar. ADMISSION €10 Make your way to Brennan's Lane Bar afterwards for the Meet and Greet After Party - all welcome.

More information coming soon!
11am, Ballina Tourist Office
Historical Walking Tour of Ballina

Ballina is a town with a colourful, fascinating history dating back thousands of years. What better way to learn about that history than to embark on a walking tour of Ballina with one of our very own local historians? Carmel Hughes on her fascinating tour will point out landmarks and buildings of historical interest and share some of the fascinating stories of our market town's history. Tours start at 11am sharp from Ballina Tourist Office, Pearse Street (opposite the Jackie Clarke Collection) and admission is FREE.

MORE INFO

The annual Ballina Salmon Festival 5k race has become a favourite event in the festival calendar, and is held in aid of River Moy Search and Rescue, a voluntary non-profit organisation that serves the local community.

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Following its phenomenal debut during festival 2017, A Night at the Proms returns for another year and this year, it will be even bigger, better and more brilliant! Dress to impress for a red carpet choral extravaganza showcasing Ballina's proud choral heritage. No fewer than NINE choirs (200 voices) will be represented on this unmissable, unforgettable night! With MC George Lee (RTÉ) and very special guests. Join us for fun and fizz from 7pm and enjoy a truly magnificent performance. ***This is a ticket-only event.

BUY TICKETS HERE NOW
All day
National Heritage Day (Main Event), Ballina Town Centre

One of the cornerstones of Ballina Salmon Festival, and an original concept, National Heritage Day is an immersive experience developed by the festival committee over 25 years ago. Don a costume, step back in time and learn the ancient crafts and feast your sense of the sights and sounds of a market day from the early 20th century. With live musical entertainment all day. Featuring the incredible Garda Band with a guest appearance from our own talented tenor, Garda Alan McGinty.

MORE INFO

For the 25th year, the Ballina Soroptomists host their Festival of Flowers in the Methodist Church. Enjoy a blooming beautiful display of fresh flowers, put together by a number of local groups and organisations.

More info coming soon

North Mayo and the Rebellion of 1798 are closely linked, and we're delighted to welcome Paddy Cullivan of Callan’s Kicks, The Late Late Show, Leviathan and Kilkenomics to town as part of Ballina Fringe Fest, which runs alongside Ballina Salmon Festival this year. Paddy brings you an audiovisual spectacular 220 years after the rebellion that changed Ireland forever. Using Satire, Imagery, Historical Insight and Song - Paddy reveals the 10 strangest things (and Darkest Secrets) that happened before, during and after the insurrection that (briefly) united Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter. He also draws parallels with those events’ effects on modern Ireland in a story that unfolds like an addictive thriller…

BOOK TICKETS
11am, Ballina Tourist Office
Historical Walking Tour of Ballina

Ballina is a town with a colourful, fascinating history dating back thousands of years. What better way to learn about that history than to embark on a walking tour of Ballina with one of our very own local historians? Carmel Hughes on her fascinating tour will point out landmarks and buildings of historical interest and share some of the fascinating stories of our market town's history. Tours start at 11am sharp from Ballina Tourist Office, Pearse Street (opposite the Jackie Clarke Collection) and admission is FREE.

MORE INFO

Country superstar Mike Denver brings his high-energy show, packed with hits to the Military Quarter, Ballina. Bring your dancing shoes! BBQ and games on-site. Please note that this is an alcohol-free event. Admission €10 (Children under 15 accompanied by an adult, €5).

Tickets coming soon
11am, Ballina Tourist Office
Historical Walking Tour of Ballina

Ballina is a town with a colourful, fascinating history dating back thousands of years. What better way to learn about that history than to embark on a walking tour of Ballina with one of our very own local historians? Carmel Hughes on her fascinating tour will point out landmarks and buildings of historical interest and share some of the fascinating stories of our market town's history. Tours start at 11am sharp from Ballina Tourist Office, Pearse Street (opposite the Jackie Clarke Collection) and admission is FREE.

MORE INFO

Owner of the most distinctive voice in Ireland, Seán Keane brings his unique blend of traditional Irish, folk, country and blues to Ballina. Seated show, tickets €20. Concert starts at 8pm sharp.

Tickets coming soon!
10:30pm
Festival Mardi Gras & Fireworks Spectacular at Ballina Salmon Festival (Main Event)

Join up to 25,000 people in Mayo’s biggest street party! Enjoy an incredible explosion of colour, Latin rhythms, street theatre and dance at the electrifying Ballina Salmon Festival Mardi Gras. Round off your night with a magnificent fireworks display over the River Moy, against the background of the iconic St. Muredach’s Cathedral.

MORE INFO
2:00pm
CHILDREN'S EVENT: The Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Tom Ruane Park, Sligo Road

If you go down to the woods today – you’re in for a BIG SURPRISE! Round off an incredible week with one Ballina Salmon Festival’s best-loved children's events in our beautiful Town Park on the banks of the river.

MORE INFO

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2018 MAIN SPONSORS

Ballina Salmon Festival could not take place without the help of our sponsors and supporters – thank you to everyone who supports our festival!

Location

  • Ballina Tourist Office, Pearse Street, Ballina Co. Mayo, Ireland
  • info@ballinasalmonfestival.ie
  • +353 (0)96 80095
  • 9:30 - 17:00