This year’s Ballinasloe Fair and Festival will be the largest ever held with 85,000 visitors expected and an estimated €8.5 million revenue for the local economy.
The new fair and festival chairman, Mal Croffy, said: “This year we have a huge number of activities planned, from the traditional equine elements to a wide range of activities to cater for families and tourists, including: soapbox racing, tug of war, fireworks display, a jiving competition, the craft market, and vintage day on the second Sunday. New for 2017 is a fashion evening, which takes place on Wednesday, October 4. There is also great music in the local pubs throughout the week. The ever popular dog-show is back as always."
On Sunday, October 1, jockey Paul Carberry will officially open the fair. The town’s Fair Green area will be alive with activity. The Green’s lunging area plays host to the ‘Credit Union Horse of the Fair’ lunging competition. There will also be a great selection of local music on the sound stage.
On Monday, October 2, the Fair Green will again be full of traders, while the inaugural Creagh Galros Connemara Competitions will also take place.
A heritage presentation will take place in the library on Tuesday, October 3.
On Wednesday, October 4, an evening of fashion will take place in the Shearwater Hotel.
The soapbox racing is scheduled for Thursday, October 5.
On Friday night, October 6, the sky will light up with the Supermac’s monster fireworks display at the marina. The much-loved jiving competition will take place on St Michael’s Square. The Gullane's Hotel tug of war contest will take place on Society Street.
Saturday, October 7, is ‘Country Fair Day’. There will be numerous stalls and free street entertainment. The best of traditional Irish music will be on offer all day on the sound-stage.
On Sunday, October 8, the open dog show takes place in St Michael’s Square. Running all day is the International Craft & Food Market. Bargain hunters and food lovers will fill the streets and the pub scene will be full of life.
A more recent addition to the fair is the vintage parade on the main streets, one of the country’s fastest growing vintage collections.