Chadakoin River Again Turns Green On St. Patrick’s Day

A leprechaun uses his “magic” Saturday morning to turn the Chadakoin River in Jamestown green for the first time in several years in recognition of St. Patrick’s Day. Several hundred area residents turned out for the event, sponsored by the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce and assisted by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities. P-J photo by Eric Tichy

For the first time in several years, the Chadakoin River in Jamestown matched the spirit of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday.

Sponsored by the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce, the river was dyed green in recognition of the holiday — which is rooted in the observance of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

Several hundred area residents turned out for the changing of the river. The event began in 2001 but had been put on hold around the time the Jamestown Development Corporation merged into the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.

With the wave of a magical wand — to the layman a stick found on the ground — a leprechaun helped commence the changing of the river’s color to shamrock green. To complete the experience, bagpipe music was played through a sound system.

Julia Stormont, 6, left, and her sister, Lillian, 8, showing their St. Patrick’s Day spirit Saturday morning. Organizers said they hope to expand the event in the future. P-J photo by Eric Tichy

Lee Harkness, coordinator of the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce, said feedback was overwhelmingly positive from those who attended. He said event will likely be expanded in the future.

“It went very well and it went very smoothly,” Harkness told The Post-Journal. “It probably went better than other events with the river (in past years). I can’t tell you how many people came up and complimented us, so it went well.’

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi said afterward he, too, was pleased with the day’s success.

“It’s a fantastic day,” Teresi said. “The weather was perfect with clear skies and beautiful sunshine … and hundreds of Jamestowners here, whether they’re Irish or not, enjoying the day.”

In regards to bringing the event back, the mayor said there were “logistics involved.”

Ella, 2, looks on prior to Saturday's events.

“Our previous contract with the previous leprechaun ran out,” Teresi joked. “We finally found a new leprechaun who signed a new multi-year deal so here we are again. We were able to turn the river green again.”

In addition to the chamber’s work to bring the event back, the mayor pointed to the effort of the city’s parks department, Jamestown Board of Public Utilities and city safety personnel.

Bill Stevenson, chamber vice president, said last week the dyeing was dedicated to the late Randy Peterson, a 38-year employee of the BPU where he managed the water department for several years.

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