Ballina Salmon Festival Celebrates 60th Anniversary with Grand Opening and Closing Events on the river Moy

Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland – June 27th 2024

The Ballina Salmon Festival, proudly marking its 60th anniversary in 2024, is set to captivate visitors with a spectacular lineup of events from July 6th to July 13th. Celebrated in the heart of the “Salmon Capital of Ireland,” the festival will honour the rich heritage of the River Moy, culminating in unforgettable experiences that highlight Ballina’s unique culture and community spirit.

Opening Event: Crinniú na mBád (Gathering of the Boats) – Saturday, July 6th

The festivities will kick off on Saturday, July 6th, with the Crinniú na mBád, or Gathering of the Boats. This cherished tradition will see a colourful flotilla of boats grace the River Moy, uniting locals and visitors alike in a display of maritime camaraderie. The event celebrates Ballina’s deep connection to the river and its status as a premier salmon fishing destination.

Witness the vibrant display of boats on the river Moy, serenaded by The Ballina Band of Brass, under the direction of Jackie Greham, together with the Foxford Brass and Reed Band, under the direction of Laurie Barrett.

In celebration of the very first opening event of the Moy Festival in 1964, complimentary glasses of Guinness and a taste of brown bread and smoked salmon was also shared with all that attended the very first festival opening event, creating a very memorable occasion.  It is still talked of 60 years later.  ‘Cruinniú na mBád’ will be reenacting this same tradition on Saturday evening 6th July 2024. From 6pm.

Closing Events: Moy Swim and Festival Birthday Bash – Saturday, July 13th

The festival’s grand finale will unfold on Saturday morning, July 13th, starting with the exhilarating Moy Swim during the day. Swimmers from across the region will take to the waters of the River Moy, showcasing their endurance and celebrating the natural beauty of the river.

As the sun sets, the celebrations will transition to the banks of Cathedral Beat, in front of the iconic St Muredach’s Cathedral. The Festival Birthday Bash promises an evening of vibrant entertainment, featuring a full live production of Atlantic Rhythm’s “Sounds of the West,” a showcase of traditional Irish music and dance. This will be followed by a dynamic performance from the popular rock and indie band Cronin, ensuring a night of lively music and dance.

The festivities will reach a dazzling conclusion with a spectacular fireworks display, illuminating the night sky over the River Moy and St Muredach’s Cathedral, creating a magical atmosphere that reflects the spirit of the Ballina Salmon Festival.

Join Us in Celebration

The Ballina Salmon Festival’s 60th anniversary is more than just a milestone; it is a testament to the enduring spirit of the Ballina community and its love for the River Moy. We invite everyone to join us in celebrating this remarkable occasion, experiencing the unique charm of Ballina, and creating memories that will last a lifetime.