The town is now principally recognised for the Great October Fair. This fair has been conducted since the early 18th century.]
The name Ballinasloe means Mouth of the Ford of the Hostings. A village therefore developed near the fords and close to 2 castles which were built to control the fords. The area is rich in heritage and history also, from Clonmacnoise, Europe's most ancient monastic university, to Kilconnell's 14th century Franciscan Abbey, to the site of the 1691 Battle of Aughrim. While for the kids, there's the Glendeer Pet Farm just a short drive away.