March Madness Ballina – St Patrick’s Day pride and Easter anticipation

The maddest month of the year!

Once again this year, the March Madness Ballina Festival is set to take place in the town against the backdrop of St. Patrick’s Day, leading into Easter.

Now in its fifth year, the March Madness Ballina caters for all ages and interests with a great series of great events lined up for your enjoyment across the month,. There’s no better time to take a trip to town and get out and about in Ballina.

Here’s the lowdown on what’s happening throughout the month of March, with thanks to the crew at

If you’d like your event included, just get in touch!


Events for all the family to enjoy at March Madness Ballina

Thursday 8th March: International Women’s Day

 The Jackie Clarke Collection

Heritage Week in Mayo Jackie Clarke Collection nollaig na mban


This year the Jackie Clarke Collection are celebrating all our amazing Irish women who emigrated all over the world looking for a better life while all the while missing their beloved Ireland.

On display will be a photographic exhibition telling the story of the Dixon sisters from Belmullet, Co. Mayo who represent all of their fellow sisters who had to take the same heartbreaking journey leaving behind their treasured loved ones.

For  further information contact the Collection on 096 73508 or email

 Sunday 11th March: The Belleek Woods 5km

 Belleek Woods, 10am

Ballina ParkrunA charity fun run takes place with Functional Fitness on March 11th at 10am through Belleek Woods – a fundraiser in aid of Mayo Mental Health Association.

Starting point is at Belleek Woods at 10am.

Bring the kids, bring the dog, bring your friends, spread the word!


Sunday 11th March: Miles in their Memory

 Ballina, 12:30 – 2pm approx

‘Miles in their Memory’ is a 347km cycle being undertaken by members of the Ballyglass Coast Guard unit under the skillful guidance of Belmullet Cycle Club and with hands-on support from An Garda Síochána.  The cycle is in honour of our Irish Coast Guard members’ Caitríona Lucas, Ciarán Smith, Paul Ormsby, Dara Fitzpatrick and Mark Duffy who were tragically lost while on duty – and for all those who have been lost of our coast.

This cycle departs R116 Base at Dublin Airport on the 10th March 2018 and finishes at Blacksod Lighthouse Co. Mayo on Sunday the 11th March 2018. It will pass thruogh Ballina on Sunday 11th March, and everyone is invited to come out and cheer the cyclists as they hit the home stretch towards Blacksod.

Follow the cyclists’ progress on Miles in their Memory on Facebook

18th March: Ballina St. Patrick’s Day Parade

 Starts at Convent Hill, from 4pm

March Madness Ballina St Patrick's Day Parade and FestivalEnjoy a festive feast of floats, groups, dancers, sporting clubs, bands, and many more participants in this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade in Ballina from 4pm.

The parade starts at 4pm in Convent Hill followed by a Fireworks Extravaganza at the Salmon Weir Bridge from 7pm.

See more information on all St. Patrick’s Day Events in North Mayo 

And there’s more …

Sunday 18th March:  St. Patrick’s Day Fireworks Display

 Salmon Weir Bridge, from 7pm


Back by popular demand, the St. Patrick’s Day Fireworks Display will take place following the parade from 7pm at The Salmon Weir Bridge.

Get there early to get a good spot!


Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th March – ‘Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me’

 Ballina Arts Centre, 8pm

Ballina Arts Centre logo Ballina Arts Centre North Mayo Arts and Culture in Mayo Things to do in North Mayo“We are in a decidedly perilous position, to put it mildly”’

Adam, an American doctor; Edward, an Irish journalist; and Michael, an English academic, have little to unite them beyond being human in the same small space. Yet somehow, together, they determine to ward off madness and forestall despair. Somewhere lurk their unseen captors yet, in the cell, there are stories of adventure and love, there is song and laughter, and even a surge of writing, cocktail-drinking and movie-making.

Inspired by the abduction of Brian Keenan taken hostage in Lebanon in the 1980s, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me is playwright Frank McGuinness’s hymn to the defiant power of the human spirit and the creative imagination. 

Tickets: €18 / €16. Early booking advised at

“Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me sees Frank McGuinness at the very top of his form, extracting from the depths of the human condition uncrushable determination, passion and compassion, anger and jealousy, spite and fear and lashings of black subversive humour.” ★★★★ The Irish Times

“Brings its own light touch to grim matters.” The New York Times

“A beautiful play” The New Yorker

Monday 26th – Thurs 29th March – Ballina Costume Company Kids’ Easter Craft Camp (Week 1)

Jackie Clarke Collection, Pearse St, 9:30 – 3pm daily

The ever popular Ballina Costume Company Kids Craft Camp returns to the Jackie Clarke Collection. This will be sell-out so early booking is essential.

Happily, for those who miss out, a second week of camp will take place from Tuesday 3rd – Friday 6th April in the Sean Duffy Centre, Ardnaree.

Camp kicks off a 9:30am each day and is suitable for children aged 4-13. Places limited.

Call Ballina Costume Company on 096 72154 or email to book.

Monday 26th – Wednesday 28th March – The Core Easter Camp 

Ballina Arts Centre,  Monday and Tuesday 12 til 3pm, Wednesday 11am til 3pm

The Core is a place for young musicians, learners and improvers aged 12 to 18.  It’s a community of like minds who love to get creative with music. There is all sorts of activities including instrumental tuition, camps, workshops, meetups, collaborations, open mics and concerts. This Easter there will be a collaborative music camp where young musicians, singers and rappers aged 12 to 18 will have the opportunity to engage in songwriting, jamming, recording and production. It’s a great way to meet young musicians in the community.

Adm €60 / €50 for members. For more info please visit or contact / 087 7485954

Participants in previous camps and workshops at The Core have formed groups and released their own music on Spotify.  The Core is running a free Open Mic on March 20th at 7.30pm and will also be taking on new members on Saturday March 24th at 11am.

Saturday 31st March: Mad Hatters Fun Day 

The Jackie Clarke Collection (2-4pm)

March Madness St Patrick's Day Festival Ballina
To round up March Madness Ballina and get us all ready for Easter, back by popular demand is  family fun day, Easter Saturday at the Jackie Clarke Collection. With face painting, Easter egg painting, arts and crafts, treasure hunt of Ballina and so much more! There’s a prize for the best Easter bonnet on the day so get creative! Admission free.

This event, held in association with the Ballina Girl Guides has become one of the best-loved children’s events in Ballina’s Easter calendar and paves the way for more Easter fun in Belleek Woods over the weekend with Ballina Salmon Festival’s Easter Bunny Train.

This event is free of charge. For further information contact the Collection on 096 73508 or email


 March Madness Ballina 2018 St Patrick's Day Parade



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