Now in its fourth year, the festival 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, with thanks to the crew at Ballina.ie.
Wednesday 8th March: International Women’s Day in the Jackie Clarke Collection
On this important day in the global calendar, the Jackie Clarke Collection extends an invitation to all women in Ballina and surrounding areas to come and view the unique handmade, hand-embroidered dress of Linda MacWhinney (née Kearns, 1888 –1951). A Fianna Fáil politician and nurse from Sligo, Linda went on many fundraising trips abroad to seek help for the ill and needy in Ireland.
The dress, which she wore on these trips is designed in the Celtic Revival Style. Also on display will be Linda’s medals and Cumman na mBan brooch. Free Admission.
Thursday 9th March – Saturday 8th April 2017 – “In my Grandfather’s Time” – Photographic Exhibition of JJ Leonard
The Jackie Clarke Collection will host the Photographic Exhibition of Jack Leonard, the renowned photographer and Irish Volunteer.
Born in Crossmolina, Co Mayo in 1882 Jack emigrated to England in 1900 and there he trained with the Illustrated London News in Journalism, Illustration and Photography – skills that he put to good use in capturing the images on display at the Jackie Clarke Collection from the Land war, the War of Independence and the Civil War. Free Admission.
Friday 17th March, 2017, 4pm – Ballina St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Enjoy 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.
The parade starts at 4pm in Convent Hill and an afternoon of fun and frolics is guaranteed for all the family!
Friday 17th March, 2017, 7:30pm – St. Patrick’s Day Fireworks Display
Back by popular demand, the St. Patrick’s Day Fireworks Display will take place at 7.30pm from The Salmon Weir Bridge.
Get there early to get a good spot!
Saturday 18th March from 2pm – Children’s Events at the Jackie Clarke Collection
At 2pm a Fancy Dress Treasure Hunt will kick off from the Collection. There will be prizes given for the best dressed “Leprechaun” or “Saint Patrick” on the day. Traditional Irish music will entertain the crowds, while the Clarke Collection resident face-ainters will be on hand offering lucky charm designs for festive faces. Free Admission.
Saturday 18th March, 11am-5pm – BCRFM Outside Broadcast
Ballina Community Radio comes out onto the streets of Ballina on 18th March, hosting an outside Broadcast in the new Ballina Tourist Office.
Lower Pearse St will be a hive of music, chat, giveaways and general mayhem. Kicking off at 11am Saturday morning, Ray and the BCRFM team will entertain locals and visitors to Ballina. Pop in and say hi, leave a request and bring along your musical instruments – there may be a prize in store for the best traditional musician, Irish dancer or storyteller!
Saturday 25th March, Great National Hotel Ballina, 8pm – Strictly Lip Sync
A host of local celebrities and personalities will take to the stage for the great Lip Sync battle for this great night in aid of one of Ballina’s great sporting clubs, Ballina Rugby Club.
This s is one night of March Madness you can’t afford to miss! Guaranteed a hilarious night of great music, great “singing” and great craic!
The Broken Jug: Known for its weekly live music sessions, great food, award winning carvery and a place to meet with new and old faces. The Broken Jug will host well-known local dance school, the Sheila Moffatt School of Irish Dancers and musicians on Friday 17th March after the parade for 1.5 hours. This will be followed by live band Almost Famous” from 10-12 with DJ until late!
And don’t forget there are plenty of big screens in the Broken Jug for all the big games this March!
Brennan’s Lane: Very popular for its Sunday afternoon live music sessions and planned St Patrick’s Day weekend sessions, (word is, they’re planning something very special) Brennan’s Lane is now also serving bar bites downstairs. This venue is back with a bang!
The Loft Bar: This great venue has an open fire and regular live music to keep your feet tapping. Lovely bar to relax in after the parade! Enjoy the daily lunchtime treats all homemade, served up with great customer service from the three Hallahan brothers!
Dillons Bar & Restaurant: A ballad session takes place by the fireside on Sunday 19th March from 6-8pm. A warm welcome is assured in this great food venue – from a Roscommon man, but we won’t hold that against him!
The Auld Shebeen: The quintessential Irish Bar, The Auld Shebeen serves great points of Guinness, homemade boxty and great live music throughout the month of March and all year round. Another great venue to pop your head into this March.
T Breathnachs Bar: The place to watch GAA and Mayo in action this league season, as well as 6 Nations Rugby, served with the best cocktail menu in town. Tomas and Gerry always offer a warm and friendly welcome.
Ballina Arts Centre as ever serves up a platter of visual Art, theatre, and live music treats throughout the month of March, including performances of ‘The Stolen Child’, John B. Keane’s ‘Moll’, and a live gig from newly formed band Gatehouse.