Main Events 2016

Mayos Got Talent 2016

posted Jun 15, 2015, 3:59 AM by Jamie Rooney   [ updated May 14, 2016, 10:05 AM ]

Its that time of year again - the Ballina Salmon Festival are in search of a performing star!!!

Mayo's Got Talent is the perfect showcase for any type of performing talent that exists in our county.

This year there are 4 heats - each Friday night in June with the Final being scheduled as a pre-festival event for Monday, July 11th 2016 in the Merry Monk, Killala Road, Ballina

A grand prize of €1000 will ensure a night PACKED with performance, and like every year we host the event, we'll have a packed out crowd too!

WHEN: Auditions held on the last 2 Sundays of May (22nd & 29th) 
WHERE: upstairs in the Merry Monk from 2PM - 4PM

Monday, July 11th in The Merry Monk, Ballina (click for map) from 8pm.

Mardi Gras 2016

posted May 11, 2015, 5:55 PM by Ballina Salmon Festival   [ updated May 5, 2016, 3:17 AM ]

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

When: Saturday - 16July @ 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:

Busking Competition

posted May 4, 2015, 4:19 PM by Ballina Salmon Festival   [ updated Jul 14, 2016, 2:47 AM ]

Thursday to Saturday 
14th - 16th July

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

Open to solo performers and bands/groups.

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

2-3pm any of the 3 days
badge/permit on display)

Top 3 acts to play on stage on Saturday @ 8.30pm (before Mardi Gras) in a final.

All entrants will be notified by text message on Saturday @ 4 PM if they are a finalist for the stage that night.

All entries are through the form online on the website, see below.

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.

Entries are open until the last slot is filled


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.

Proudly sponsored by:

Teddy Bear's Picnic

posted May 4, 2015, 4:17 PM by Ballina Salmon Festival   [ updated May 17, 2016, 2:31 AM ]

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

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 - 17July

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 jam-packed children’s events of the Ballina Salmon Festival. 

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,inflatable games, pirate train, the famous coke train and back by popular demand the Kiltimagh Pet Farm, from farm animals to snakes and lizards, which gives children the opportunity to burn energy in a fun and an enjoyable manner. Face painting and children’s favourite characters that interact with the children throughout the day making it so magical. And don't forget to dress up those teddys -  prizes galore on the day.

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

posted Apr 28, 2015, 6:58 PM by Ballina Salmon Festival   [ updated Jun 29, 2016, 7:30 AM by Jamie Rooney ]

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.
Bringing country back to town. 

Venue: Military barracks, Market Square
When: Thursday - 14July (
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM)

 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. 

Monster Fireworks

posted Apr 28, 2015, 6:55 PM by Ballina Salmon Festival   [ updated May 5, 2016, 3:56 AM ]

The Best Firework Display in the West!
Saturday, 16July @ 11PM

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

posted Apr 28, 2015, 6:55 PM by Ballina Salmon Festival   [ updated Jul 7, 2016, 7:15 AM by Jamie Rooney ]

On International Evening Ballina town centre will be artfully transformed with each street themed and showcasing a host of world cultures. It promises to be entertaining and visitors can experience twelve different countries through music, dance, costume, food and drink. 

Added to the festival calendar on Friday, July 15th

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 15th 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!" 

Check out some pictures from prior years


Proudly sponsored by:


Heritage Day

posted Apr 28, 2015, 3:14 AM by Ballina Salmon Festival   [ updated Jul 7, 2016, 3:17 AM by Jamie Rooney ]

Ballina Heritage Day

Wednesday July 13th 2016

‘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 practice 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 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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