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Ballinasloe Horse Fair & Festival 2024

One of the largest and oldest horse festivals in Europe

Dates: September 29-October 6, 2024

Ballinasloe Horse Fair & Festival
Ballinasloe Horse Fair & Festival

The Ballinasloe Horse Fair's history dates back to the 1700s. Recently renewed, the fair has immediately become one of the most visited tourist attractions in Ireland. A town in Galway County, Ballinasloe is famous for horse and pony riding competitions that take place a few times per year. But the fair is its largest equestrian event in the area, attracting about 80,000 visitors. The Ballinasloe Horse Fair, which takes place on a 6-acre Fair Green on Society Street, features features forse dealers' sales and purchases, racing and show-jumping, beauty pageantry, live music, and street entertainment. In addition, the Fair is a meeting point for Irish Travellers, an itinerant community with strong traditions.

Preserving all the entertainment of the chivalrous age, the Ballinasloe Horse Fair and Festival attracts visitors with its parades, fireworks, dog show, and many more. If you happen to travel around Ireland in autumn, don't miss this chance to dive into the atmosphere of the past and glorious era.

Fair Schedule

The 8-day event starts on the Sunday before the first Tuesday in October with a colorful parade around the Fair Green. In the following week, the fair features a queen crowning, tug-of-war competitions, singing contests, and other artistic and cultural events,

The equestrian days in 2024 are September 29-30 and October 5. The festival runs from October 3rd to 6th, with various breeds of horse and pony on display and fun activities for the whole family. The Country Fair Day on October 5 is the culmination of festivities and the most popular day of the festival.

Ballinasloe Horse Fair History

For centuries, farmers from the eastern and western parts of Ireland have gathered in Ballinasloe for trade. The town was always known as a large livestock market and a meeting point for local clansmen. The first written reports about the Ballinasloe October Fair date back to the 18th century. The fair was often described as the largest in Europe. According to a legend, Napoleon bought a horse at the Fair and rode it in the battle in Austerlitz.

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