Ballina is finally planning a festival as the town’s much-loved annual Ballina Salmon Festival makes a welcome return to North Mayo this July.
The Covid-19 pandemic has prevented the full hosting of the festival in the last three years but it’s all systems go for 2022.
Now in its 58th year, the event is Ireland’s longest running community festival, based along the wild Atlantic way. It will run this summer from Sunday, July 10th to Saturday, July 16th.
A return to the festival’s river roots, an extensive, exciting children’s programme and a nod to nostalgia, as the festival ensures its traditional signature events returns
including Irelands largest ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’, ‘The National Heritage Day’ fireworks display and ‘Pageant on the Moy’, are just three of the highlights awaiting visitors to Ballina for the 58th Ballina Salmon Festival.
With over 70 events planned over the course of the week, this year’s programme is set to excite and delight young and old, locals and visitors alike.
Mags Downey Martin, CEO Ballina Chamber of Commerce commented.
“We have been inundated with Salmon Festival queries and we are over the moon to be able to announce the return of the 58th Ballina Salmon Festival, as public health measures currently in place were removed, giving people the opportunity to plan their trip to Ballina this July.
“We know there are hundreds who plan their annual family holiday and reunions during festival week and now they can. Equally there are plenty who have never had the Ballina Salmon Festival experience, and we look forward to putting on a show for them to remember this summer.”
Joint festival Chairpersons Martin Carr (The Junction Restaurant, Ballina) and Paul Regan (Dillons Bar & Restaurant), both agree;
“Ballina Salmon Festival has always been about celebrating the people of the town and our story, and this year, we wanted to move the focus back onto the river Moy, where it all began in 1964. Ballina is known as the salmon capital of Ireland, and we wanted to acknowledge our heritage and connection with the river by celebrating old traditions while providing new and enjoyable experiences for those attending the festival.”
Paul Reagan also added;
“This year’s children’s event committee has curated an incredible programme of over 40 events, designed to give children of all ages and interests something to enjoy during festival week.
Events such as juvenile fishing on the river Moy, children’s yoga to martial arts, try a sport, Stand Up Paddle boarding sessions and dance theatre, this is the most diverse children’s programme to date. Given the break of three years, we want to ensure the families that travel to Ballina have a wonderful enjoyable experience and make memories that will last.”
Martin and Paul agreed that while Ballina has been working away in the shadows for the last two years of the pandemic, both gents are over the moon to now be in the position to plan a large-scale community festival in Ballina in July.
Ballina Tourist Office on Pearse St will be the central hub for all festival administration activities.
Ms Downey Martin assured that the traditional festival favourites will be making a welcome return this year with the Teddy Bears’ Picnic kicking off the week on Sunday, July 10th, followed by the National Heritage Day on Wednesday, July 13th with festival fireworks concluding the programme on Saturday night, July 16th.