Rain doesn’t stop Greening of the Fountain celebration

Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 2:23 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2023 at 3:11 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A favorite St. Patrick’s Day tradition kicked off the season in Savannah on Friday.

Though it was pouring rain, there was definitely still a good turnout for the Greening of the Founatin. People packing under their umbrellas around the fountain.

The ceremony was shorter than usual because of the rain, but as Savannah Mayor Van Johnson put it, a little rain didn’t stop anyone.

Some even waiting for hours to secure their spot.

“We just enjoy being together with our friends, and then, just the excitement looking around at the kids and enjoying the beauty of the park,” said Gail Southwood.

LINK >>> WATCH: 2023 Greening of the Fountain

The greening was also a big day for George Schwarz III, this year’s parade grand marshal. He had the honor of dropping the first round of dye in the Forsyth Fountain.

Though the experience was a bit rainier than he pictured, he said the experience is still unforgettable.

“I had my grandson with me, and my wife behind me. It was very special, the whole group, everybody is such great friends. That’s our way of putting our Irish pride in the community, putting it in that Fountain, letting it go through everybody, and letting everyone get a piece of that Irish pride that we have,” Schwarz said.

LINK >>> Your 2023 Guide to St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah

Under the cover of umbrellas and rain jackets, the crowd got to watch as the fountain turned green. The will to still celebrate the Greening of the Fountain represents the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah.

“Our Irish heritage and culture, and I include mine because I found out I have some Irish in me, was that, people lived, survived, and thrived throughout weather and circumstances and challenges. They still pressed on and pressed forward. So, that’s what we did. We pressed on, we pressed forward,” Mayor Johnson said.

It’s not just the Forsyth fountain that got greened, every fountain in every Savannah square is green now as the countdown to St. Patrick’s Day is on.

Committee officer manager honored after the Greening

After the Greening of the Fountain wrapped up, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee headed back to its offices on Liberty Street. There was one person, however, that they couldn’t let upstairs with them - not just yet. Angela Coleman, the office manager for the committee.

Coleman has been in her position for 21 years, and in that time, she has seen plenty of celebrations.

Members of the committee said that Coleman is the glue that holds them together - so, she needed her name up on the wall. When the committee finally let her upstairs, she saw a whole room dedicated to her.

Now, every morning when Coleman walks to her office, she’ll pass by the Angela H. Coleman Executive Committee Board Room.

“It means a lot, it really does. I really didn’t know what they had on their mind. They’re always so sweet. I can tell you this, on Valentine’s, they came up here, came through that door and brought me a bouquet of flowers and chocolate covered cherries,” she said.

“We’ve been trying to keep it a secret. I don’t know how we did because she knows everything that goes on up here, but she has worked so hard for so many years for this Committee. When I was an adjutant, she was my right hand. ‘I haven’t done this yet,’ ‘Oh, I’ve already done it for you,” 2023 Grand Marshal George Schwarz III said.