Food Fleadh Ballina 2018 features seafood foraging, craft brews, food market, cookery demos, lifestyle marquee, children’s workshops, fishing, tours, dining trilogy, live music and more!
Food Fleadh Ballina, Co. Mayo makes a welcome return for its fifth year and with an expanded four-day programme planned from Thursday, September 27 to Sunday, September 30 to coincide with Other Voices Ballina, visitors and locals alike can enjoy a packed programme of foodie events. As well as the flagship Food Fleadh Market on Saturday September 29, this year’s expanded programme sees a renewed focus on the Moy Estuary and our local seafood offering, as well as live cooking demonstrations, children’s cookery classes, food and art inspired workshops celebrating a taste of the Wild Atlantic Way in North Mayo.
Known for its intimate friendly atmosphere, the Food Fleadh Market in the historic Old Military Quarter offers the best of Mayo with locally produced artisan foods, cookery demonstrations by local chefs, tastings, a Ready Steady Cook-Off with special guests, the Bank of Ireland Lifestyle Marquee with guest speakers and the ever-popular children’s cookery sessions. The Yeast Meets West Craft Brew Fest also returns to the Food Fleadh Market with a Craft Brew Wall featuring ten Irish-made beers, ales, lagers and ciders. Yeast Meets West will feature local breweries Reel Deel, Lough Gill Brewery, Sligo Town and Black Donkey, Roscommon and Cork-based Longueville Cider.
Live music will accompany the market throughout the day, to make for a real festival atmosphere, featuring the Local Voices Stage in conjunction with Other Voices. The market will take place under Ballina’s unique canopy cover meaning that no matter what the weather, a great day with a great atmosphere is guaranteed.
Over the four days the festival will include seafood foraging trips incorporating a Killala historical tour with certified guide Denis Quinn of Wild Atlantic Cultural tours. Suitable for all ages, the trips will incorporate a walk to Bartra Island, where attendees will forage for cockles, mussels and samphire, returning afterwards to Killala to cook up their catch. Connacht Whiskey Company will offer Discovery Tours outlining Ballina’s unique distilling process, while the world-famous Clarke’s Salmon Smokery opens its doors to share its story of 70 years and the secret to sumptuous smoked salmon. Local restaurants and hotels will also feature Food Fleadh Ballina specials on their menus.
New this year is the Courtyard Trilogy Experience, as Dillon’s Bar and Restaurant, Luskin’s Bistro and the Everest will team up to offer a three-course food trail adventure, featuring a specially created menu celebrating Irish, Indian and Nepalese food fusion across the three venues.
Following in the footsteps of Ballina Salmon Festival, Food Fleadh Ballina aims to refocus on and celebrate the River Moy, and the River Trust, collaborating with a number of local agencies will host a Children’s River Ecology Workshop explore the biodiversity and ecology along the river and the crucial role the it plays in the food cycle. This will be complemented by a ‘Gardening 4 Kids’ session where children can learn to grow their own food with some autumn seed planting. The Last Cast Fishing Competition will close out the festival, and anglers can enjoy the last day of the fishing season with free fishing on the Ballina Salmon Anglers’ beat, followed by a Fishermen’s Party with Betty’s famous boxty in An Sean Sibín.
By night, the Ballina Music Trail in conjunction with Other Voices Ballina means that over this special weekend, visitors will be able to avail of the very best live music from up-and-coming new acts – many of them local – for free in multiple locations around the town.
The organisers of Food Fleadh Ballina are passionate about wanting to showcase the very best of West of Ireland food – both restaurant and artisan produce – during the Food Fleadh Market. A limited number of stalls are still available and interested businesses are advised to call 096 72800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org immediately to reserve a space.
Food Fleadh Ballina is supported by Failte Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way.