Main Festival Events 2015

Pre-festival Event: Mayo's Got Talent

posted Jun 15, 2015, 3:59 AM by Jamie Rooney   [ updated Jul 4, 2015, 4:32 AM by Ballina Salmon Festival ]

After much public and popular demand - Mayo's Got Talent - the perfect showcase to the absolute plethora of talent that belies the entire county is scheduled as a pre-festival event for Saturday, July 4th 2015.

A grand prize of €1500 will ensure a night PACKED with performance, and like every year we host the event, we'll have a packed out crowd too!

The lineup of contestants is:

1. The Padden Family
2. Billy Forde
3. ECM Dance
4. Annabelle Comer
5. Mary O'Boyle
6. The McGrath Sisters
7. Danny Leonard
8. Cairde Séan-Nós
9. The Gardiner Sisters
10. Octave
11. Luke Conlon
12. Aimee & Katie
13. The Horkan Family

Saturday, July 4th in The Merry Monk, Ballina (click for map) from 7:30pm.

Mayo's Got Talent

Bar Square Live - open air concert with KEYWEST

posted Jun 12, 2015, 2:32 AM by Jamie Rooney   [ updated Jun 12, 2015, 2:32 AM by Ballina Salmon Festival ]

Saturday night will see the pinnacle of the festival entertainment climax for the crowds in Ballina. Bar Square is proud to announce their sponsorship of the Bar Square Live open air concert with KEYWEST as the headline act, and support from the winner of the Festival's busking competition the same day.

Keywest are an Award winning, Multi Platinum selling act from with an impressive five #1 singles. Originally becoming famous for their street performances. This band has taken the rawness of street music and brought it the masses Selling out National Tours including two sold out shows in Vicar Street and having huge National radio hits. 

Keywest are Irelands Biggest Independent band, with tens of thousands of followers. 
Hotpress "Most Promising Act of 2015 this act is not to be missed"​​

Pre-festival event: Lady of the Moy 2015

posted May 19, 2015, 3:27 PM by Jamie Rooney   [ updated Apr 25, 2016, 7:42 AM by Ballina Salmon Festival ]

Twin Trees Hotel, Ballina, Co. Mayo

Friday - 3rd July 2015 @ 8pm

We are proud to announce to you our Lady of the Moy for 2015 - Ms. Emer Taheny

Well done to  all the contestants who took part in the Lady of The Moy 2015 in Hotel Ballina.

'Freedom is a jewel and youth is that jewel' - 'Is seoid í an tsaoirse agus ís í óige an tseoid sin'


Mardi Gras

posted May 11, 2015, 5:55 PM by Jamie Rooney   [ updated Jun 13, 2015, 1:18 PM by Ballina Salmon Festival ]

Mardi Gras promises to be a night of enchantment and exhilaration.

When: Saturday - 11July @ 10:30 PM

Where: Garden St. - Tone St. - Bridge St. - Emmett St.

This hugely popular event is filled with an explosion of colour, costume, street theatre and music from every vibrant corner of the world. Samba and Latin rhythms resonate and echo through the night air. Watch the Exotic dancers shake their thing, Jugglers thrill the crowds with extraordinary feats of coordination and Torch Eaters and Fire blowers light up the warm July skies. With the Cathedral and the River Moy as a backdrop, the parade will end in one of the biggest and most electrifying fire works displays in the country.


A nights entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

Locals are invited to participate and dress up in the parade.
Please contact the Festival Office for more information +353-(0)96-79814

Proudly sponsored by:

National Busking Competition

posted May 4, 2015, 4:19 PM by Jamie Rooney   [ updated May 3, 2016, 8:34 AM by Ballina Salmon Festival ]

Thursday - Saturday 14th - 16th July

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Open to solo performers and bands/groups.The Ballina Salmon Festival will again host a busking competition in 2016 again. The format will change slightly from 2015.

All buskers can perform anytime they wish from Thursday to Saturday between 10am and 5pm in town.

Judging will take place each day from 2-3pm and buskers must be playing for this hour at least on any single day to be judged for the final. Entrants should have their badge/permit on display during this time or they will not be judged as part of the competition.

A final will be held on stage on Saturday @ 9pm with the winner being selected at 10pm just before the start of Mardi Gras. All entrants will be notified by text message on Saturday @ 4 PM if they are a finalist for the stage that night.

Buskers are completely free to collect money donated by passers-by when busking, this is something core to busking which the festival organisers are not restricting.

All entries are through the form online on the website, see below.
All entry fees must be payed by July 1st - a member of Ballina Salmon Festival staff will call you to confirm your application entry and tell you details of entry fee.

The maximum number of entrants is 40 and the application form below will close automatically once this number is reached.
If you find it closed, do stay tuned to the website and FB page for update of any entry cancellation which may open up a slot for you.

Buskers should pick up their entrants badge/permit from the Festival office.

Entry fee:
€10 for single
€20 for bands

- One prize only – winner takes all €750
  - Open to all ages and types of music

Not entering the competition, no problem
The festival is happy to welcome buskers who do not wish to enter the busking competition as we know and value the additional atmosphere that music will bring to the town.

All amplification will be checked for volume and if requested to lower your volume all entrants are required to do so - in the interests of all parties: general public, businesses, and the festival organisers.
Failure to comply with a request may result in disqualification from the competition.

Buskers not entering the competition are advised to use battery operated amplification if required.

Entry forms:
will be available from May 1st until June 30th 2016 (or until the last slot is filled)

Proudly sponsored by:

Teddy Bear's Picnic

posted May 4, 2015, 4:17 PM by Jamie Rooney   [ updated Jul 1, 2015, 5:16 AM by Ballina Salmon Festival ]

Get your Teddy’s Ready! The date has been set for THE children’s event of the Summer for 2015!

Fun, Frolics & Fashion is to be had by all teddies with their little owners as this years event promises to be our best yet!

Sunday - 12July

2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Price: €2 per child

The Teddy Bears picnic never fails to please and is always the highlight of the jammed-packed children’s events of the Ballina Salmon Festival. 2015 will be no exception!

The Teddy Bear’s picnic will be held, as always, in the picturesque Tom Ruane Park (also known as the ABC Park) over-looking the River Moy on the Sligo Road. Parents can dine al-fresco on a blanket while the children & teddy bears are delighted with the entertainment that the Teddy Bears picnic has to offer.
The fantastic array of colourful bouncing castles and inflatable games gives children the opportunity to burn energy in a fun and an enjoyable manner. There is the customary balloon modellers, face painting and children’s favourite characters that interact with the children throughout the day making it so magical.

N.B. The full complement of Children’s events are held daily throughout the festival duration. Please check out ‘Children’s Programme of Events’ for more details.

For further information contact the festival office +353 96 79814/79815 or email us

Ballina State Fair & Country Evening

posted Apr 28, 2015, 6:58 PM by Jamie Rooney   [ updated Jun 17, 2015, 4:08 PM by Ballina Salmon Festival ]

 The Ballina State Fair promises to be a night not to be missed as Ballina lights up in old time country with live music and dance.

 A stage show of Oklahoma line dancing & live cowboy show.
Why not try your hand on the rodeo bull (well only if your brave enough); "pull the udder one" milking the cow game; horse shoe throwing; rifle range; Hi-Lo card game and so much more.

Lots of games for the young  ones as well.
Why not enjoy the BBQ on-site!

So for a night not to be missed, be sure to get along early - y'all hear me now?!

€2 per person

Dance the night away with our very own Irish country superstar, Gerry Guthrie. 

Thanks to Moy Archery who will be providing some free archery demonstrations on the evening.

Monster Fireworks Display

posted Apr 28, 2015, 6:55 PM by Jamie Rooney   [ updated Jun 11, 2015, 4:29 AM by Ballina Salmon Festival ]

The Best Firework Display in the West!

Cathedral Road, Ballina, Co Mayo  (click for map)

Ballina’s spectacular Fireworks Display has always brought to a close a hugely anticipated week of family fun, crazy antics and generally brilliant entertainment that is the Ballina Salmon Festival.

The striking display of bright colours exploding in the night sky above the River Moy with the Cathedral as it’s backdrop has always captured both the awe and delight of the young and old. 

The Firework Display, which is the largest in Connaught, draws people from far and near to view its spectacular display. Strong attendance at this event proves a fantastic family night out that does not disappoint - year after year!

Fireworks display by Rocket Pyrotechnics.


International Evening 2015

posted Apr 28, 2015, 6:55 PM by Jamie Rooney   [ updated Apr 25, 2016, 7:41 AM by Ballina Salmon Festival ]

Ballina town centre will come alive to the colour, sounds, smells and tastes of the world this July. Ballina Salmon Festival is re-introducing the hugely popular International Evening to the festival calendar year on Friday, July 10th. The International Evening will celebrate the food, drink, costume, music, dance and culture of 10 different countries.

A family stroll through the town centre on the evening of July 10th will become a promenade through down-town New Orleans or Rome! Visitors to the international village will need to pay a visit to the Festival Bureau de Change to stock up on local currency before indulging in opera, gelato, pasta and chianti from Italy; moussaka, ouzo and folk music from Greece; tacos, tequila and a mariachi band from Mexico; limbo and rum punch from Guiana. As well as food, sounds and colour from Burma, Nepal, France, USA, Argentina, China and not least, Ireland, there will be loads to do for all the family.

People of all ages are welcome.

"Prizes for best International costume on the night!" 

We're also hosting a raffle on International Night and all proceeds will be donated to the Nepal Earthquake relief fund.

Check out some pictures from prior years


Proudly sponsored by:


Heritage Day

posted Apr 28, 2015, 3:14 AM by Jamie Rooney   [ updated Jul 3, 2015, 3:51 AM by Ballina Salmon Festival ]

Heritage Day – Lá Oidreachta

Wednesday July 8th 2015

‘A windy day is no day for thatching’ – ‘Ní hé lá na gaoithe lá na scoilbe’

See the past come alive at the Ballina Salmon Festival’s Heritage Day. The streets of the
Town are transformed into by-gone days when Ballina hosts the largest gathering of craftsmen and
women who practise the time-honoured traditional skills and crafts of Ireland. From the spinners
and weavers who produced by hand our Irish wool and flax, to the hand knits Ireland is famous for,
see it come to life. Watch the blacksmiths and forge work the metal over fire, see how the
cartwheels were made and repaired, and take a look at our old methods of vintage transport from
traps, cars, trucks, boats and bicycles. This year we are delighted to welcome Capt. Johnny Dicker
with the renowned “Sliabh na mBan” armoured car that carried the body of Michael Collins after his
execution. It can be seen at the Jackie Clarke Museum.
Watch how boats are made by hand and meet some of the fishermen who use them at sea
and on our River Moy and lakes and observe the skills used in spinning, fly fishing, knots used at sea,
tying flies and lures and the art of telling tall tales of the ones that got away!  Many thanks to the
Mayo Shore Angling Club who are sponsoring a cup for the heaviest salmon caught on the Ridge Pool
on Heritage Day.
Get a chance to see straw craft before the art disappears, find out how to make hemp ropes,
baskets, rush-craft, pottery, spoon-carving and even bread cooked on an open fire and fresh churned
butter. Come to the bog! Get the feel of what a day in the bog was like. And do not forget the vintage
farm tools, horse and engine powered threshers, along with model farms. Long ago buildings were
the product of many hands, lime kilns, stone carvers, thatchers, while men worked pole lathes, fret
saws and worked with wattle and daub, truly craft workers whose legacy remains to this day.
Kids have a special area at Walshe Street near the Jackie Clarke Museum with games, crafts
and entertainment for and by kids. There are also special crafts for kids around the Market Square
and on Garden Street with a chance to make a skipping rope, a willow fish or a rustic face along with
other arts and crafts.
Enjoy a wide variety of sweet and savoury foods while enjoying the performances by the
Garda Band and many generations of traditional musicians on the streets and on four stages. Over
twenty different music acts perform on the day along with sean nós and traditional Irish dancers
who will dazzle with their footwork. Listen to stories of our past, visit a traditional cottage and laugh
with the comedians on the day. Meet with friends and enjoy the craic while experiencing the past.

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