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Here's why the Fountain Hills fountain turns green for St. Patrick's Day

The yearly Fountain Hills tradition began with a bet way back in 1979.

FOUNTAIN HILLS, Ariz. — It all started with a dare in 1979.

Decades ago, a homebuilder reportedly rode his horse into a local Fountain Hills tavern to celebrate his heritage and St. Patrick's Day. According to a release from Fountain Hills, the only thing to top that stunt was a bet to turn the local fountain green and water ski around it.

On St. Patrick's Day in 1979, a large crowd watched nearby as the world-famous fountain in Fountain Hills was dyed green. All the bettors then reportedly skied around the fountain to the crowd's excitement.

In what started as a $250 bet in a bar has now become the annual Greening of the Fountain in Fountain Hills on St. Patrick's Day. 

On March 17 at noon and 5 p.m., the fountain will flow green once again. Along with the dye, the fountain will also be bathed in green light when the sun sets.

If you can't attend the show in person, you can watch the event on the town's webcam.

Hope you can make it down to Fountain Park tomorrow, St. Patrick's Day, for our annual Greening of the Fountain. If you can't see it live, be sure to watch it on the Fountain Hills WebCam at www.experiencefountainhills.org.

Posted by Town of Fountain Hills, Arizona on Wednesday, March 16, 2022

What does it take to dye the fountain?

55 gallons of coloring is injected into the fountain to help turn it green. A release from the town says the dye is not harmful to the water, which irrigates the surrounding park.

How tall is the fountain?

Fountain Hills reportedly has the world's fourth-tallest fountain. Built in 1970 in Zürich, Switzerland by Robert P. McCulloch, three pumps push the spray as high as 560 feet. For perspective, that height is taller than the Washington Monument.

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