When the Giro d’Italia international cycle race goes through Dundalk on 11 May, 250 million people in 171 countries will see it.
Dundalk will be truly on the international map. The town will also play a major role in a historic cross-border joint police escort operation.
This is the world’s second biggest cycling race, the biggest sporting event this country will have seen in years, and the only sprint stage here in the Republic, will take place in Dundalk.
The Giro’s choice of an Irish grande partenza is historic and Dundalk will be on view through the the global television broadcast the Giro attracts.
In May the focus of the cycling world will be on Ireland. The race leader wears the pink jersey, so pink will be in in-colour. Dundalk is going pink.
The race will begin in Belfast on Friday 9 May, then go to Armagh, and then Dundalk, before heading for Dublin.
Tens of thousands are expected to visit Dundalk for this sprint stage and the people of the town and the businesses are being asked to come out and give all their support.
It is certainly a great business opportunity. The Dundalk sprint is on Sunday 11 May and all shops are being asked to open their doors for the historic day.
This day could be as good for business as a dozen Christmas weeks.
The race leaves Armagh on Sunday morning and people gathered in Dundalk town centre will be able to follow it all the way to Dundalk on the Big Screen at The Square.
Dundalk Town Council are really supporting Cuchulainn Cycling Club who have been instrumental in organising the Dundalk stage, and free parking will be available on the Saturday, giving everyone an opportunity to really enjoy the full weekend.
And whatever about the local economy, the town will certainly be in the pink. Willie Duffy chairman Dundalk tidy Towns Association has said no less than 94 resident associations have already committed themselves to organising bunting and floral displays and anything that will add to the sporting and festive atmosphere.
The town council are also getting behind the decor for the day. Town clerk, Mr Frank Pentony, has said that the council’s horticulturist staff “have already walked the route organising the colour scheme and planting.
In 2009 Dundalk was entered for the European Entente Florale environmental competition. On that occasion the council’s horticultural experts pulled out all the stops and we won a silver medal. And it looks like they are ready to do the same for Giro d’Italia.
Blackrock Tidy Towns has also got behind the project and The Green Gates looks like it’s going pink that weekend.
The County Museum will stage a special photographic exhibition on the history of Dundalk cycling to mark the occasion.
Local business, taxis, busses - is Matthews white going pink for the occasion - sporting organisations, social groups, churches, in fact everyone is being contacted about this major event for the town and county.
The public relations company Bance Nolan, through their Dundalk media officer Anne-Marie Eaton, are offering their professional help.
The tourist office and BIDS in Dundalk, the chamber of commerce, Harry Traynor, manager of the Marshes Shopping Centre, indeed all business and social groups are getting behind this project.
Brian O’Neill, chairman of Dundalk BIDS said Dundalk cyclists will go pink on St Patrick’s Day in anticipation of the race coming to the town.
More details later. Watch this space.