This year is the 52nd Ballina Salmon Festival and it’s starting on the 13th of July with Ballina Heritage Day; the biggest daytime event of the festival.
Heritage Day this year brings with it a host of new and old delights, including, crafts, music, Irish dance, boatmaking, falconry, vintage transport, fishing competitions, steam engines, street performers, children’s activities, and the re-appearance of the famous Sliabh na mBan armoured car. There will also be lots of delicious food and drink on offer on the day!
On the day the streets of Ballina offer a taste of the past with traditional food, music, dance and crafts. You can experience the culture of what Ireland was like, with lots of craftsmen and women practising traditional skills and crafts such as spinners and weavers producing wool from hand. There will also be vintage methods of transport on display such as cars, trucks, traps, boats, bicycles and old steam engines.
Ballina Heritage Day is renowned for its fantastic atmosphere. Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones are headlining on the day and there are over 20 other musical acts performing. There are also Irish dancing performances from the Moffatt School of Dancing and the Atlantic Rhythm Production Company and Stephen Gallagher and Cian Lavelle. our two new World Champions will be taking to the stage at the Jackie Clarke Collection on Pearse Street!
For the children there are special areas on Walsh Street (near the Jackie Clarke Collection) and in the Market Square where there will be plenty of entertainment, games and crafts for children of all ages.
Across the day you can watch boats being made by hand and meet some of the fishermen who use them, whilst observing their skills. The “Heaviest Salmon Caught” competition is also being held on the Ridge Pool.
In another thrilling addition to the day, the Falconry team from Mount Falcon Estate will be on-site in the Jackie Clarke Collection with some of their beautiful birds of prey for you to meet! The ancient tradition of Falconry, which has been handed down through the generations for over 4000 years, is the art of hunting with birds of prey. At Mount Falcon Estate you can enter into this world with their resident Falconers. On Wednesday at 2pm, Mount Falcon is offering the public a chance to call into the Jackie Clarke Collection’s gardens and meet some of their beautiful birds. This is a rare opportunity not to be missed.
The Ballina Salmon Festival’s Heritage Day in partnership with the Jackie Clarke Collection’s Community and Volunteer Programme are also welcoming back the “Sliabh na mBan” armoured car, which carried the body of Michael Collins after his execution in 1922. This is back for the third year running and will be located outside the Jackie Clarke Collection; everyone is welcome to visit and take photos with the car and the Irish Defence Forces on duty.
All in all, Ballina Heritage Day really is a fantastic day for all and is not to be missed!