Lord of Las Vegas; City Names Day in Flatley's Honour

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Byline: DECLAN FAHY in Las Vegas

THEY celebrate Independence Day and Groundhog Day - now the Americans have declared Michael Flatley Day.

The Lord of the Dance has won the rare honour as a mark of respect from the Las Vegas audiences who have been swept off their feet by five years of his fast-tapping show.

To mark the occasion, the mayor and the Governor of Nevada made Flatley king for a day in the world's most glamourous city last Saturday night.

And Las Vegas gave him a party straight from the bottom of its billion dollar heart.

Singer Tom Jones and boxing hero Wayne McCullough mingled with Elvis impersonators and the city's top entertainers at a star-studded party.

After tributes were read out following the show, Flatley, 45, strode on to the stage to accept the accolades.

Hesaid: "This is a dream come true, I love Las Vegas, it is truly a great city. It is our home now and I'm proud to be here. Viva Las Vegas."

Nevada governor Kenny Guinn proclaimed: "Michael Flatley showed what can be accomplished through a tireless work ethic and boundless ambition.

"The state of Nevada, the Silver State, to our great pride names October 11, 2003, in honour of Michael."

City mayor Oscar B Goodman added: "He stands as a tribute to all who have faced adversity.

"His show has entertained people in Las Vegas and around the world and so I proudly proclaim today to be Lord of the Dance Day."

A delighted Flatley chatted to his guests at the bash in the plush Venetian Hotel.

He arrived accompanied by fiancee Lisa Murphy, who looked stunning in a black evening dress.

Speaking exclusively to the Irish Mirror Flatley said: "Getting the awards were a true honour, they were a real victory for me and for the show. …