Ballina Salmon Festival, Irelands Oldest Community Festival along the wild Atlantic Way celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2024

Ballina Salmon Festival, Irelands Oldest Community Festival along the wild Atlantic Way celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2024

The Ballina Salmon Festival’s 60th anniversary celebration in July 2024 promises an extraordinary array of events that showcase the rich cultural heritage and community spirit of Mayo. From July 6th to 14th, visitors can expect an immersive experience that caters to all ages and interests.

The festivities kick off with the nostalgic Cruinniú na mBád on July 6th from 6.30pm, a gathering of boats on the river Moy that pays homage to the festival’s origins. This event offers a glimpse into the tradition of sailing on the river, accompanied by the melodious tunes of the Foxford brass band and family-friendly activities.

And during the day of the July 6th, Corn na Bradán – The Salmon’s Cup Festival of Football is an exciting initiative aimed at promoting community engagement, physical activity, and social inclusion through Gaelic football. This is an exciting way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Ballina Salmon Festival, harking back to the past with events such as the “Crazy Football Tournament” reminiscent of the 80s, featuring participation of local GAA clubs from North Mayo.

Children are in for a treat with the return of the Teddy Bear Picnic on July 7th, offering a delightful selection of activities and entertainment in Tom Ruan Park. With an impressive lineup of 60 events curated by the children’s committee, there’s something for every young festivalgoer to enjoy.

National Heritage Day on July 10th a cornerstone event in the festival programme, transports visitors to a bygone era filled with traditional Irish songs, sounds of the craftspeople making and creating, market stalls brimming with handcrafted treasures.  Picture yourself strolling through the vibrant streets of Ballina, surrounded by the echoes of traditional Irish songs and the rhythmic whistling of steam engines. The air is filled with the nostalgic aroma of the thresher, creating a sensory experience that immerses you in the atmosphere of a market day from a century ago. With multiple stages, a Ceili Marquee, and pop-up performances, the town comes alive with the sights and sounds of history.

Music enthusiasts can groove to the beats of Ireland’s hottest live musicians at the new IQ (Innovation Quarter) off Ballina’s market square. With performances by Mike Denver on July 11th and CEOL on July 12th, the IQ provides the perfect backdrop for unforgettable musical experiences.

Another highlight of the festival is the Moy Swim on July 13th, offering participants the chance to become part of Ballina’s history by taking on one of Ireland’s oldest river swims. With two distances on offer both the 600m and 2.5km and 600m youth distance swim this promises to be a fantastic opportunity to experience a competitive race in the scenic surrounds of the wild Atlantic way in the west of Ireland.

The Festival Birthday Bash ‘Jigs & Jerseys’ promises to be a night to remember, with a spectacular showcase of Irish dance and live music. At 9.30 pm, the festival stage will come alive with the energetic tunes of the renowned band ‘Cronin,’ captivating the audience with their infectious rhythms and melodies.

As the music fills the air, anticipation builds for the grand finale of the 60th-anniversary celebrations. Against the backdrop of the night sky, a breathtaking fireworks display will light up the heavens, painting a dazzling tapestry of colours and shapes. It’s a moment of pure magic, uniting festivalgoers in awe and wonder as they come together to mark this momentous occasion.

From the Lady of the Moy 60 Year Reunion on June 28th to the Ballina Agricultural Show on July 14th, the festival’s diverse lineup ensures there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, the Ballina Salmon Festival offers an unforgettable celebration of community, culture, and heritage.

With its blend of live music, street theatre, art, food, heritage, fishing, and sports, the Ballina Salmon Festival continues to captivate audiences and foster community spirit for six decades. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning reveller, the festival offers an unforgettable experience that celebrates the heart and soul of Co Mayo.

June 28th – Lady of the Moy – 60 Year Reunion

July 6th – Cruinniú na mBád – Gathering of the boats on the river Moy.

July 7th – Teddy Bear Picnic in Tom Ruane Park

July 8th – Reeling in the Years, sounds of the 60’s- in the Ballina Arts Centre

July 9th – ‘The Best of Ballina’ Ballina celebrates its great people, with Mid-West radio, sponsored by Callan Tansey, hosted in the Great National Hotel Ballina

July 10th – National Heritage Day in downtown Ballina

July 11th – Mike Denver in Concert at the Military Square in Ballinas new IQ

July 12th – Ceol in Concert at the Military Square in Ballina new IQ

July 13th –The Moy Swim, during the day and Festival Birthday Bash ‘Jigs & Jerseys’ with Cronin, followed by spectacular fireworks display that night from 9.30pm

July 14th – Ballina Agricultural Show

With more events to be announced, and one BIG surprise!

A Full festival programme and further event information is available at and on the festival social media channels.

More information at [email protected]