Gala Burger Fest

Parklands The Ropewalk Saturday 16th July 2022

Opening this Year’s Gala this new event “BURGER FEST” has something for everyone!

BURGER COMPETITON! who will win the title of best BURGER there will be a wide range of burgers on offer from MEAT, CHICKEN, VEGAN, PLANT BASED, FISH and lots of bespoke and creative burgers to try!

***Any local food businesses in Portaferry who are interested in setting up a burger stand at the festival please contact us via****

Burger Eating Competition – who can eat the most the quickest

* Challenge Games
* Petting Farm
* Climbing Tower
* Train Rides
* Games for all ages
* Balloon Modeller
* Circus Workshops
* Arts & Crafts
* Festival Glitter Tatoos
* Ferry FM
* Live Music (local artists)
* Helter Skelter
* Laser Shoot
* Bouncy Castles and lots more!

Tickets only £2 per person (under 2 go free) access to all activities and entertainment free!

Tickets will be available soon via Eventbrite watch this space for more details and updates!

Gala 2022 What’s On Update

Gala Thursday. Traditional Pitching the Sheaf entertainment! Live from the Square all day

Thursday 21st July 2022 – Farming Community Day with lots of additional activities, radio, games, dancing, music, food, open to everyone start midday until late.

* FERRY FM – Roadshow live from the Square (music, games, interviews, challenges)
* The TOY ride on tractor run for kids (pedal or battery operated)
* Live Entertainment from the Square
* Pitching the Sheaf
* Kids activities
* Special Surprise Performance
* Rodeo Bull
* Inflatable horse racing
* Fun challenges for all the family
* And lots more!!!!

Further details to follow. Be sure to follow Portaferry Gala Social Media and this website for updates.

Gala Week 2022 Update

Preparations for Gala Week 2022 are well and truly underway and the Committee are delighted to report that we will be returning to a full week of events to celebrate our Emerald Anniversary!

Galafest doesn’t just happen. It is the result of twelve months investment of time, talents and commitment by a dedicated group of 12 volunteers. This alongside continued financial support from Ards and North Down Borough Council, businesses and funders is what makes Gala Fest, Galaween and the Christmas events possible.

The last 2 years have been challenging for everyone and it is hoped that a return to our usual much enjoyed programme along with a few new events, will bring a buzz back to the town.

In the past, the closing of Gala Fest has traditionally ended with the annual float parade which drew huge crowds to the town, entertained by the fabulous displays created by our local bars and their team of ‘float builders’.

However, due to our local hospitality owners only starting to see their businesses beginning to return to some kind of normal and given the ever increasing rise in the cost of materials required to build floats, this year the committee has decided to build on the ‘Talk of the Walk’ event that has been established over the last 2years (whilst COVID restrictions were in place) and encourage not just the bars to join in with the residents but the local shops, restaurants and cafes.

This event will be judged on the Gala Friday and will bring a Festival feel to the town, especially if the weather is as kind to us as last year!

Keep an eye on the Gala Social Media pages and this website over the coming weeks when we will be releasing details of our new events and the return of others.

Again none of this would be possible without the time, talents and commitment of the Committee but also thank you to the many supporters and champions of the Gala and we look forward to welcoming you to Gala Fest 2022.

Portaferry Visitor Information Office

Visitor Servicing in Portaferry is changing with the creation of a new Local Visitor Information Office in the reception of the town’s main attraction, Exploris Aquarium.  There is open access to the Visitor Servicing Office, you do not need to pay the entry fee to Exploris to use it.

This new facility will replace the previous seasonal Visitor Information Centre at the Stables and offer year-round provision, with new extended opening hours. New directional signage will be installed to make the location easy to find. 

The Council’s Tourism Team will work closely with staff in Exploris to ensure that the new office provides an effective information service for Portaferry and the Ards Peninsula.  Training on the local tourism product is planned before the facility opens and updates on new developments and events from Ards Visitor Information Centre will be ongoing.

In addition to assistance from Exploris staff, visitors will be able to access literature on what to see and do, where to stay and local events along with an interactive touchscreen map to assist them in plotting an itinerary.  On dedicated days, such as Bank Holidays, Council Visitor Information Advisors will provide an added outreach service in the town.

Literature and information will continue to be delivered to additional locations across the town and Borough, as has always been the case. If you wish to be added to the list for distribution, please contact us at

It is hoped that the thousands of annual visitors to Exploris, along with those visiting the region, will now be more equipped to explore more of the area and stay longer, experiencing to the full what this wonderful destination has to offer.