Plans are hotting up for the first ever Mayo Day celebrations on May 2.
The day will be the first time any county in Ireland has claimed a spot of its own on the calendar to celebrate its people and culture.
Organisers at the Enterprise and Investment Unit of Mayo County Council are now hoping Mayo Day will capture the imagination of the county’s people both at home and abroad and become a major annual global celebration of all things green and red.
The idea is to raise the profile of the county by encouraging the estimated 9.3 million people with Mayo roots to celebrate their ‘Mayo-ness’, on the same day, in their own corner of the world, wherever that may be.
Martina Hughes, Mayo County Council, said it has now been confirmed that Niagara Falls will be lit up in the county colours on May 2, thanks to the efforts of Kiltimagh native Padraic Walsh, who lives in Buffalo, and New York State Assemblyman Michael Kearns, who has Westport roots.
Ms Hughes said there are hopes that some other major landmarks around the world will be similarly lit up on the day.
Meanwhile, back at home, Mayo County Council is planning a light show of its own and illuminating bridges, iconic sites, and attractions in green and red.
Ms Hughes gave an update on the Mayo Day preparations at the most recent meeting of the Castlebar Municipal District.
She said Mayo County Council is providing financial support to 17 separate Mayo Day events in communities across the county while flagship events will take place in Ballina, Castlebar, and Westport.
Events are also taking place in Galway, Athlone, Dublin, London, Manchester, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Toronto, Sydney, and Melbourne.
“There is a great loyalty and passion of place in Mayo communities around the world,” said Ms Hughes. “This is an opportunity for businesses, communities, families and individuals to celebrate that.”
Some of the county’s biggest businesses are also lending their support, including O’Hara’s Bakery in Foxford which is whipping up some special edition Mayo products for the occasion.