Frosty Salmon Festival kicks off for month of December

Frosty Salmon Festival kicks off for month of December

Ballina’s Frosty Salmon Festival has just gotten underway and Santa has arrived in town, much to the merriment of children and adults alike. The town’s annual Christmas festival is designed to celebrated the community and businesses of Ballina, with a “shop local” theme, and this year promises to be no exception with a range of fun Christmas themed events and competitions for all the family.

The festival got underway on Sunday with a fun-filled family day in the Jackie Clarke Collection, featuring Christmas Crafts with Ballina Girl Guides, storytelling with Mrs Claus, a Christmas Treasure Hunt, family photos in Santa’s Sleigh, traditional Irish dancing with a Christmas theme with the Moffatt School of Irish Dance and a Christmas bake sale. Ballina’s Christmas lights were switched on using the new Big Red Button by Cllr Annie May Reape, ably assisted by the winners of the Jackie Clarke Collection’s Letter to Santa competition. Santa arrived in town, and was escorted by parade to his home in the newly redecorated Military Quarter where he will take up residence for the next two weekends, assisted by the Fifth Mayo Scouts.

Santa’s Grotto will open from 2-6pm on Saturday 9, Sunday 10, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17th December. Admission is just €5 per child and each child will receive a small gift.

On Saturday 9th December the Mistletoe Market, also run by the Fifth Mayo Scouts will take place under the canopy cover in the Military Quarter. A European-style market, featuring over 40 decorated stalls of local craft, artisan food, music and entertainment, this is sure to be a big family hit. All stalls are now booked out, which means lots of opportunities to buy locally-made gifts and trinkets for Christmas. The Mistletoe Market is further enhanced this year by the return of ‘Yeast Meets West’ who held their first craft beer festival during Food Fleadh Ballina to great acclaim. The Frosty Brew Fest again features a number of local breweries in the Barracks Bar, including some new faces, and Connacht Whiskey Distillery will once again join the fun with Christmas-themed treats.  Only adults will be admitted to the Barracks Bar.

Irish Rail’s Polar Express Christmas Train runs on three dates this year – December  2, 9 and 16.  Tickets sold out immediately upon announcement, and once again this special hour-long trip to Manulla and back with Santa on board promises to be a truly memorable experience for children of all ages.

Underpinning the entire Frosty Salmon Festival  is a plea from local businesses to shop local this Christmas. With billions leaving the Irish economy each year via online sales, the benefits of shopping local cannot be emphasised enough, in particular the fact that money spent locally stays locally and is recirculated into the community.

Ballina Chamber are once again selling their Shopping Vouchers, which can be redeemed in a large number of retail outlets in the town including food and restaurant outlets and can also be exchanged for services such as beauty treatments, car repairs, even plumbing! Unlike with larger voucher schemes there is no administration fee to participating businesses. Vouchers are available in denominations of €10, €25 and €50 and make an ideal Christmas gift or bonus. The Ballina Chamber Christmas Cracker draw also takes place with €10,000 in local voucher giveaways on offer. Just enter as you shop in various outlets around the town.

Mayo County Council is once again offering free parking from 2pm each day in December in all council-owned car parks.

Frosty Salmon Festival Ballina Co Mayo along the wild Atlantic Way

 

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