Ballina Salmon Festival is first and foremost a community festival – without our local community and businesses, our festival simply wouldn’t be possible.
We’re holding our first open meeting of the year on Tuesday, April 10 at 8.30pm on the third floor of the Ballina Salmon Festival offices on 44 Pearse Street, Ballina (right next door to the Tourist Office).
This is an opportunity to come along, meet some of the people behind the festival, hear an update on our 2018 plans and get involved, if you wish (but no obligation)!
Anyone with an interest in Ballina Salmon Festival is most welcome to attend and our Ballina business owners are especially welcome.
We’ll keep it short and sweet, and look forward to seeing you there.
If you go down to the woods on Easter Sunday, you’re in for a big surprise! The Easter Bunny Train takes off once again in beautiful Belleek Woods on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
Come along to Belleek Woods from 2-5pm on Easter Sunday 1st April and Easter Monday 2nd April and take a trip through Ballina’s magical forest park on the festival train. There’ll be lots of fun and surprises on the day, and you might even spot the Easter Bunny!
The traditional pre-festival warm-up, the Lady of the Moy 2017 competition took place in The Great National Hotel, Ballina on Friday 30th June.
Traditionally the first event in the festival calendar, the large crowd in attendance was treated to a night of glitz, glamour and entertainment as local lady Thérese Ní Láimhín, representing The Station House Hotel claimed the crown on the night.
The Lady of the Moy will represent Ballina Salmon Festival during festival week as well as acting as an ambassador for the town throughout the year. Holding the title of Lady of the Moy is regarded as an honour for the winning lady that offers great opportunities for networking, development as well as many fun, memorable occasions throughout the year.
Proudly sponsored by Allure Hair and Beauty, this year the competition boasted 14 contestants in total, each representing a local business or group. The contest was judged by Allure owner Martha Galvin, high-profile blogger and influencer Kieran O’Malley (aka ‘The Galway Player’) and acclaimed TV make-up artist Hayley Coleman. The wit of MC Ollie Turner of Galway Bay FM was a delight on the night as he guided them through their stint on stage. Most sang, danced or recited poetry for the crowd, showing once again the level of talent that exists in Ballina. Each girl also completed an individual interview with the judges.
Winner Thérese Ní Láimhín hails from Foxford, is a student in DCU, and has just finished her first year of studying primary school teaching. She is an accomplished musician, playing no fewer than four instruments, the piano, concertina, guitar and tin whistle. Indeed her performance at the Lady of the Moy 2017 contest consisted of Therese playing guitar a beautiful medley of songs in English and Irish. Therese is a pioneer and a proud Gaeilgóir, having grown up with the language at home.
Thérese said: “I’m very excited about the week and year ahead, and can’t wait to meet everyone, and see how it all works! It’s an honour and a privilege to represent my town, and I feel it’s so important to be able to speak about your own home town and be involved in things that are going on, particularly from a tourism point of view. It’ll be lovely to look back on this in years to come and to be able to say I was a part of it, and I can’t wait.”
Event organiser Mary Moyles, manager of The Broken Jug said: “The Lady of the Moy gives these young women a fantastic opportunity and the confidence they gain from standing up in front of their town is wonderful. They are all so proud to represent their towns and their businesses. In our eyes they are all winners and young women our town can be proud of.”
The Lady of the Moy 2017 competition was proudly supported by a number of local businesses. Allure Hair and Beauty were the main sponsors, providing the main prize and hair and make-up services for the event. The event was also supported by hosts, The Great National Hotel Ballina, as well as Gúna Nua Boutique, Winter’s Jewellers, Mayo Crystal, John Rocha, Moy Chocolates and Blooms ‘n’ Things. Local hairdressers and beauticians also sponsored hairstyling and makeup for the night, once again demonstrating the sense of community for which Ballina Salmon Festival is so renowned.
Winner of third prize on the night was Karen Hegarty representing the Broken Jug and runner-up was Mairead Hopkins representing The Empire Rooms. Catherine O’Boyle of the Merry Monk was winner of the audience vote. Guests were treated to a spectacular interval show by award-winning Sylvan Kelly School of Dance, who will also feature during the festival as part of the Celebration of Irish Music event taking place on Friday 14th July in the Military Quarter.
Immerse yourself in the traditions and culture of 12 different countries, each showcasing their own music, dance, costumes and food on the streets of Ballina. This is International Evening at Ballina Salmon Festival!
At International Evening at Ballina Salmon Festival, transport yourself to a myriad of different countries – France, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Italy and many, many more.
Watch out for the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Romeo and Juliet’s infamous Verona balcony and some Spanish matador magic. Marvel at the street performers and street theatre, dance and drumming. Soak in the evocative aromas of the continental cooking, smell the spices and the flavours of worlds far from here.
Use Ballina’s own local currency to avail of a taste of the country of your choice, and enjoy authentic music, song, dance and street theatre as you wander through the heart of the town.
Live Music at International Evening
At the end of the evening make your way to the Military Quarter and enjoy an outdoor concert by lively Irish band Bog O’The Loughs.
An unforgettable evening in Ballina!
Admission: Free. Local currency available to purchase and spend at the Ballina Bureau de Change outlets on each of the main streets.
Yee-ha! Don your stetsons and enjoy the fun at Country and Western Night at Ballina Salmon Festival on Thursday 13th July!
Country music has taken Ireland by storm, and Ballina Salmon Festival will host its very own Country and Western Night on Thursday 13th July in the Military Quarter in the heart of town.
Johnny Brady LIVE on stage
Taking to the stage is none other than the great Johnny Brady, one of Ireland’s biggest country stars! One of the most distinctive voices in modern country music, Johnny is known for his powerful vocals, energetic performances and charismatic personality. He continues to push the boundaries in a new generation of Irish country music artists, and is famous for ‘turning it up a notch’, drawing on his many rock and pop influences, making him a man in demand on the festival circuit!
Johnny has recorded four albums to date, each one a true testament to his diversity as an artist, showcasing his passion for songwriting and his ability to resurrect old classic country songs and make them his own. He has toured extensively throughout Ireland & the UK over the past five years and has built a reputation for having one of the finest dance bands on the Irish country music scene.
This will be Johnny’s first time performing in Ballina’s newest venue, the Military Quarter with its unique, weatherproofing canopy cover and he is sure to give his newest single “It’s Hard to Lose Someone You Love” a whirl on the night.
Barbecue and games
With the barbecue sizzling throughout the evening and novelty games galore for children and adults alike, don your stetsons and line-dance along to the Military Quarter to enjoy a jive and sing along to your favourite country tunes. (Please note additional charges will apply for food and games.)
Venue: The Military Quarter Admission: €5 Tickets on sale now from Ballina Tourist Office and Pearse Street!
Mayo and Ballina, in particular has much to be proud of in terms of local creative writing, and the Ballina Salmon Festival Junior Literary Awards have been revived this year to celebrate this talent, and to foster and encourage a love of writing among our young people – which ultimately contributes to a vibrant local literary culture.
The Awards, which were a feature of the festival in the past and are being revived this year by committee members Ger Hogan and Lizann Gorman will focus initially on primary school writers. Inspired by the success of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), this award is billed as the HaHoLit (Half Hour Literary) Award, where children are challenged to set aside just half an hour to create a short story or poem in English or Irish.
The awards have been kindly sponsored by Paul Brennan, Solicitor (main sponsor), Eason Ballina, Creative Writing Mayo and An Teanga Bheo School of Irish, Ballina.
Who can enter?
The Junior Literary Awards are open to children under 13 years and the categories include both short story and poetry.
Awards will be made in both English and Gaeilge.
Short Story (Max 1000 words)
Irish Short Story (Max 1000 words)
How to enter
Entry forms can be downloaded here or collected from the Ballina Salmon Festival office.
Entries are to be submitted to the Ballina Salmon Festival Office on Pearse Street by Saturday 1st July, and shortlisting will take place the following week. The successful shortlist will be published on the Festival Website and local media outlets, and parents/guardians will be contacted directly.
The annual Lady of the Moy competition takes place in The Great National Hotel, Ballina on 30th June 2017 at 8pm.
The Lady of the Moy competition is a real highlight of the lead-in to Ballina Salmon Festival each year, and this year’s event will be no exception. Guests are promised a thoroughly entertaining night out, filled with music, glitz and glamour as 13 beautiful ladies from the North-West region vie for the prestigious title of Lady of the Moy.
The role of the winner is to represent Ballina Salmon Festival during festival week, and act as an ambassador for the town of Ballina throughout the following year – a great honour for the winning lady!
Master of Ceremonies once again on the night is Ollie Turner of Galway Bay FM. The event attracts in excess of 400 guests annually with entertainment, great prizes and fun all night. There will be a Best Dressed Lady and Best Escort prize on the night. So don your glad rags, come along and enjoy a great night out at Ballina Salmon Festival.
Tickets priced at €10 are available at the door on the night.
The Core is delighted to announce The Core Stage at Ballina Salmon Festival 2017. Over the duration of the festival, there will be daily concerts in the town centre, featuring talented members of The Core and the various Music Generation Mayo programmes. The stage, which is generously sponsored by Sligo Retail Park will also feature young performers from throughout Mayo, as The Core aims to provide a platform for young local musicians.
About The Core and Music Generation Mayo
Music Generation Mayois a music education service for children and young people (aged 0-18) in Co.Mayo. It is part of Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.
Music Generation Mayo’s latest programme ‘The Core‘, a creative space for budding young musicians opened its doors in Ballina Arts Centre in November 2016 and has been a bustling hive of musical activity since. With over 30 (and counting!) active members from across the county using the rehearsal facility, taking part in camps, industry workshops, regular performance opportunities such as monthly open mics, Facebook Live events and musical showcases it is a great place for young people to express themselves and work on developing their music.
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