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

8pm
Pre-festival event - Lady of the Moy 2018

The traditional warm-up to the festival proper, the annual Lady of the Moy competition promises guests a thoroughly entertaining night out, filled with music, glitz and glamour. 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!

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6pm
Pre-festival event - Community Riverbank Clean-up with River Moy Search and Rescue

Ballina has always had a strong culture of volunteering, and nowhere has this been more evident in recent years than among the team at River Moy Search and Rescue. As well as maintaining a volunteer recovery effort, the team utilises their training sessions on the river with their boats and equipment to facilitate and manage clean-ups of the river bed and river bank all year round. To date this year, they have completed eight river clean-ups, often working alongside the members of the community, Mayo County Council and various other voluntary groups. On Thursday, 5th July, prior to the festival the Ballina community is invited to join the River Moy Search and Rescue team on a clean-up of the canal and surrounding areas. Gloves, bags and litter pickers will be supplied. All welcome to come along and help out. Make sure to wear suitable clothing and footwear.

MORE INFO ON RIVER MOY SEARCH & RESCUE
7pm
**BALLINA FRINGE FESTIVAL Event: Exhibition Opening: 'Crossing the Firebreak' by Donald Teskey

Donald Teskey's prolific 40-year career encompasses diverse media, including drawing, painting, printmaking and watercolour. This exhibition focuses on recent paintings inspired by his ongoing fascination with the rugged coastline of County Mayo as well as countryside locations from Dublin, Co. Cork and the Lee Valley and new works from Gougane Barra forest park. In association with the Oliver Sears Gallery Dublin. Runs until 27th July. Admission Free.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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10am - 5pm, Town Centre
Supermac's Busking Competition (Daily)

The Ballina Salmon Festival Busking Competition returns this year, bringing live music to the streets of the town during festival week. Kindly sponsored by Supermac’s, Ballina, the competition is open to solo performers and bands/groups of all ages. All types of music are welcomed as musicians compete for a top prize of €750.

MORE INFO AND REGISTRATION

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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Ever wanted to put your life story into words? Here’s your opportunity. Author and historian Terry Reilly will facilitate an informal workshop on memoir writing as part of Ballina Salmon Festival.

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This town centre stage will feature daily lunchtime concerts featuring the talented young members of The Core and the various Music Generation Mayo programmes. The stage will also feature young performers from throughout Mayo as The Core aims to provide a platform for young local musicians.

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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.

BUY TICKETS HERE NOW
10am - 5pm, Town Centre
Supermac's Busking Competition (Daily)

The Ballina Salmon Festival Busking Competition returns this year, bringing live music to the streets of the town during festival week. Kindly sponsored by Supermac’s, Ballina, the competition is open to solo performers and bands/groups of all ages. All types of music are welcomed as musicians compete for a top prize of €750.

MORE INFO AND REGISTRATION

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

This town centre stage will feature daily lunchtime concerts featuring the talented young members of The Core and the various Music Generation Mayo programmes. The stage will also feature young performers from throughout Mayo as The Core aims to provide a platform for young local musicians.

MORE INFO AND BOOKING

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.

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All the thrills and spills of the races - a surprise and fun event! With prizes and entertainment.

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Established in 1970 to publish contemporary Irish poetry, The Gallery Press has long been recognized as the standard bearer of Irish literary publishing. As part of the inaugural Ballina Fringe Festival, Gallery Press poets Vona Groarke, Tom French and Eamon Grennan will read from their work.

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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 from 2-4pm, with a guest appearance from our own talented tenor, Garda Alan McGinty.

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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.

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The North Mayo West Sligo Heritage Group is kindly offering two guided tours of our beautiful St. Muredach's Cathedral on Cathedral road, overlooking the River Moy. The most iconic building in Ballina dates from the 1820s and a fascinating story lies within its walls. Tours are FREE and do not require booking.

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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 …

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10am - 5pm
Supermac's Busking Competition (Daily)

The Ballina Salmon Festival Busking Competition returns this year, bringing live music to the streets of the town during festival week. Kindly sponsored by Supermac’s, Ballina, the competition is open to solo performers and bands/groups of all ages. All types of music are welcomed as musicians compete for a top prize of €750.

MORE INFO AND REGISTRATION

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

This town centre stage will feature daily lunchtime concerts featuring the talented young members of The Core and the various Music Generation Mayo programmes. The stage will also feature young performers from throughout Mayo as The Core aims to provide a platform for young local musicians.

MORE INFO AND BOOKING

On Thursday 12th July 2018 from 2-4pm, The Moy Valley Over 55 Club will host a Tea Dance as it does each year in conjunction with the Ballina Salmon Festival. Music by Padraig and Jason.

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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).

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Irish singer-songwriter Paddy Casey returns to Ballina as part of Ballina Fringe Festival. Tickets on sale from mid June at Ballina Arts Centre.

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10am - 5pm, Town Centre
Supermac's Busking Competition (Daily)

The Ballina Salmon Festival Busking Competition returns this year, bringing live music to the streets of the town during festival week. Kindly sponsored by Supermac’s, Ballina, the competition is open to solo performers and bands/groups of all ages. All types of music are welcomed as musicians compete for a top prize of €750.

MORE INFO AND REGISTRATION

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

Ever wanted to put your life story into words? Here’s your opportunity. Author and historian Terry Reilly will facilitate an informal workshop on memoir writing as part of Ballina Salmon Festival.

MORE INFO AND BOOKING

This town centre stage will feature daily lunchtime concerts featuring the talented young members of The Core and the various Music Generation Mayo programmes. The stage will also feature young performers from throughout Mayo as The Core aims to provide a platform for young local musicians.

MORE INFO AND BOOKING

Pick up your clues for the Ballina Salmon Festival Car Treasure Hunt at Rouse's Bar on Pearse Street and take to the roads to find the answers! A Ballina favourite with lots of laughs guaranteed. Visitors, grab your sat nav and join in the fun - and watch out for our hidden treasures along the route.

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The annual Ballina Athletic 10k road race takes place at 7pm. Walkers and runners welcome. Chip timing in operation and a lovely fun evening guaranteed.

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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.

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Celebrate Ballina's halycon club nights at the Hothouse Ballina 30th Anniversary Party. With legendary DJs NRG2 - Dermot Rice and John Moyles spinning the very best 80s and 90s tunes. Admission €5.

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Patrick McCabe, the Booker prize-nominated author of The Butcher Boy, Breakfast on Pluto, The Dead School, will read from his new novel Heartland. This multimedia reading will feature sounds and music, and the inimitable, dark humour of one of Ireland’s finest writers. He describes it: “Once, in an analysis of the songs of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stone journalist Greil Marcus spoke of the ‘old weird America’. This is the old weird, indomitable Celtic heart…Ulysses meets The Dandy and Oor Wullie. Or, if you like, the Carter Family on the moon!”

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10am - 5pm
Supermac's Busking Competition (Daily)

The Ballina Salmon Festival Busking Competition returns this year, bringing live music to the streets of the town during festival week. Kindly sponsored by Supermac’s, Ballina, the competition is open to solo performers and bands/groups of all ages. All types of music are welcomed as musicians compete for a top prize of €750.

MORE INFO AND REGISTRATION

This town centre stage will feature daily lunchtime concerts featuring the talented young members of The Core and the various Music Generation Mayo programmes. The stage will also feature young performers from throughout Mayo as The Core aims to provide a platform for young local musicians.

MORE INFO AND BOOKING

The sixth annual Festival football match celebrating the great friendship and sporting rivalry that exist between Ballina people and our local Polish community. All welcome to come along to Ballina’s El Classico before the street party and fireworks kick off, and don’t forget to don your colours to shout on your team!

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The grand final of the week-long Supermac's Busking competition and the start of the evening's festivities in Ballina town centre.

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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.

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11am - 4.30pm, The Point, Quay Road
Family Fly Casting Open Day with Game Anglers Instructors Association and Inland Fisheries Ireland

Fishing fun for all the family. Learn all about angling, and receive expert fly casting tuition from experienced instructors. Enjoy fly tying demos, brush up on your skills or just learn about fishing from scratch. No prior knowledge needed - come along and try it out! All welcome.

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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.

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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!

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