One of the cornerstones of Ballina Salmon Festival, and an original concept, National Heritage Day at Ballina Salmon Festival was developed by the festival committee over 25 years ago and attracts up to 40,000 people to the town every year.
On this very special day, feast your senses on the sights, sounds and smells of a market day 100 years ago, as the past comes to life and the streets are transformed. You’ll have to look twice! From the whistling of steam engines, to the smell of the thresher and the sound of traditional Irish songs, this is an evocative trip back in time on a scale you won’t find anywhere else.
Throughout the streets, watch the finest of Ireland’s craftsmen and women as they practice time-honoured traditional skills. You’ll find poitin distilling, basket making, thatching, turf-cutting, cooperage, spinning and weaving. You can even watch the blacksmith at work. Wander the streets, soak in the atmosphere, listen to the music and learn about many of these ancient crafts, passed down from generation to generation.
Keep an eye out for the special Heritage Day edition of local paper, The Western People, specially produced for this day. Visit the Heritage Quarter at the Jackie Clarke Collection, where your little ones will learn about the games of old. You’ll also learn about many of the attractions in North Mayo showcasing our heritage. Back by popular demand this year is the much-loved Garda Band who will be taking up their position near the Post Office – make sure to catch them play!
Add to the mix a great selection of food, live music and good old-fashioned fun, and you’ll soon see why this is the biggest day of the year in Ballina.
National Heritage Day is not just a day to come along and witness – it’s an immersive experience, and locals and visitors alike are encouraged to dress up and participate in this exhibition of living history. Everyone is welcome to take part. You can hire a costume from Ballina Costume Company located in the old Parochial Hall on Bury Street – call +353 (0)96 72154 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Why not get into character and join in the fun?
The Garda Band
The Garda Band was established shortly after the establishment of An Garda Síochána. It gave its first public performance on Dun Laoghaire Pier on Easter Monday, 1923. Over the years, a a céilí band, pipe band and dance orchestra were formed from within the ranks. After being disbanded in 1965, it was re-established in 1972 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of An Garda Síochána. Besides providing music for official Garda functions (such as Graduation Ceremonies at the Garda College) the Garda Band undertakes a heavy community-orientated programme each year performing at schools, festivals and sporting events.The Garda Band has travelled to many international events, representing Ireland on a number of occasions at police festivals and concerts in Switzerland, Germany and Northern Ireland.
Step back in time 100 years as the past comes alive and the streets are transformed to a market day from the early 20th century. Ballina hosts the finest of Ireland’s craftsmen and women as they practice time-honoured traditional skills. From poitin distilling to basket making, turf-cutting to cooperage, blacksmithery to spinning, you’ll find it all in Ballina on this day.
Add to the mix a great selection of food, music and good old-fashioned fun, and you’ll soon see why this is the biggest day of the year in Ballina. Wander the streets, soak in the atmosphere, listen to the music and learn about many of these ancient crafts, passed down from generation to generation.
Heritage Day attracts crowds of up to 40,000 people annually, many of whom don costumes from this bygone era and immerse themselves in this great experience. Why not don your own costume and come along to join in the fun?