O'MG! It's a river o' green — photos from the mayor's St. Pat's fest

Mayor Buckhorn kicks off first River O'Green festival.

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"City of Tampa workers add dye to the Hillsborough River for the mayor's River O'Green Fest.


The greening process starts with dumping an orange powder into the water and churning it with boat propellers. It instantly turns the water a fluorescent green. According to Buckhorn, it is an environmentally safe process and Tampa won't end up with green fish.


Tampa Fire and Rescue boat sprays water in front of the crowd at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.Tampa Fire and Rescue boat sprays water in front of the crowd at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.


Test of strength: Participants had to hold weight for as long as they could. The one left standing won. There was a lot to do for both kids and adults at the fest. Here competitors battle it out in a strength competition. The idea is to hold a weighted bucket straight out until the last one drops.


Tall leprechaun, Mike Norton as Patty O'Furniture, posed and entertained at the Green River Fest. Tall leprechaun, Mike Norton as Patty O'Furniture, posed and entertained at the Green River Fest.


Rick Brown has been playing th Bag Pipes for 13-14 years.Rick Brown has been playing the bagpipes for 13-14 years. He also plays for area honor guards.


Rudy Hernandez has been performiing for 30 years. Here he does his rope trick for St Patty's crowd.Rudy Hernandez does his rope trick for St Patty's crowd.


Stacy Carroll pours a Harp beer from the beer tent. Proceeds went to Realm, the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s task force that helps revitalize downtown parks.It wouldn't be St Patrick's Day for some without a good beer. Stacy Carroll pours a cold Harp draft. Proceeds from beer sales go to Realm. The Tampa Downtown Partnership’s task force was instrumental in the sprucing up of Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.


River O'Green sign with green river in the background. The temporarily green river shows nicely against the University of Tampa and the pleasant March blue sky.


Scariff of Irish Dance performs on the Krewe of Shamrock stage.Scariff School of Irish Dance performs on the Krewe of Shamrock stage.


Curtis Hixon park turned in to field of greens.Curis Hixon Park turned into a field of greens.

Green Hillsborough River from the Kennedy Boulevard BridgeThe Hillsborough River was dyed Kelly green on St Patrick's Day for the first River O'Green Fest.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn arrived Saturday morning at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa sporting bright green trousers with blue shamrocks. He claimed they were his favorite pants. The mayor was there to kick off the first (and he hopes annual) Mayor's River O'Green festival.

"This is what you get when you elect an Irishman for mayor," he joked before blowing the starting horn.

Aided by his two daughters and emcee for the day, Eric Cattelle, Mayor Buckhorn blows the horn to start the river greening processAided by his two daughters and emcee for the day, Eric Cattelle, Mayor Buckhorn blows the horn to start the river greening process.

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