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What started as a bet in 1979 soon became a tradition. Adding green dye to the famous fountain in Fountain Hills on St. Patrick’s Day has become an annual event for residents and tourists alike. On Wednesday, March 17, 2021, at noon and again at 5 p.m., the fountain will flow green again. With the addition of a new LED lighting system, a green light will shine on the fountain that evening.
This event, and other activities celebrating St.Patrick’s Day were canceled last year in an abundance of caution due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, only the greening of the fountain is planned. The town recommends enjoying the display from the safety of a car, home, or community in a safe manner. The show is also viewable on the town’s webcam at www.experiencefountainhills.org/fountain. Residents and visitors are encouraged to wear protective masks around others.
The fountain starts with no dye. After the injection of the color into the stream, the jet spray turns emerald green. It takes 55 gallons of the coloring for the fountain to turn green. The dye causes no harm to the water, which irrigates the surrounding park and is home to a variety of wildlife.
Before October 2020, the fountain was running consistently on two pumps, which shot water to 330-feet. There are a total of three pumps that would push the spray as high as 560-feet. However, the third pump is only used for special events and as a backup for the other two pumps.
Unfortunately, the check valves on two pumps have suffered mechanical failure causing them to stick open. Replacement parts are on backorder for installation later this spring. With one pump, the fountain reaches 180-feet.