SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - On cue and as if by some kind of local magic, it suddenly seemed like St. Patrick's Day in Savannah.
"Everyone knows,” Grand Marshal Mike Roush, Sr. said, “this is more or less the kickoff.”
When one of the most famous sites in the city took on the color of the season, the countdown to St. Patrick's Day was accelerated.
The grand marshal, three generations of his family and his aides poured in the dye that would enable the greening of the fountain in Forsyth Park. With help from a special guest.
"Oh, it was a lot of fun getting to pour in the first thing of dye,” said 11-year old Thomas Sottile, the winner of WTOC’s St. Patrick’s Day Coloring Contest. “You just see it cloud around. It was exciting.”
Sottile was one of the kids at the ceremony, among a crowd split between locals and tourists at an event that was all about Savannah and Savannah pride.
"The greening of the fountain has always been extremely iconic,” said Josh Garner, the grand marshal’s grandson and one of his aides. “It's heard of all around, much further than Savannah, and it's St. Patrick's Day. If you're from Savannah, you know what that means. It's more than just a big, old parade, it's the community coming together.”
And one of the best days in the march up to St. Patrick's Day is also a community showing its colors.
"We’re the best in the nation,” Roush said. “And that’s because we do it the best in the nation. You don’t ever see a Savannahian going to New York or Boston or Philadelphia or Newark or Chicago, but they all come down here. We are, without a doubt, the best.”