Crowd Drawn To City As River Again Turned Green

The annual “Turn the River Green” event drew a crowd to the Chadakoin River in Jamestown on Saturday. P-J photo by Sara Holthouse

City residents were out in full force for the annual “Turn the River Green” event Saturday.

Patrick Smeraldo, owner of Collaborative Children’s Solutions that helped organize the event, began the St. Patrick’s Day celebration with a speech. He guessed that a couple thousand people had come out to enjoy the day’s festivities and then turned the microphone over to Mayor Eddie Sundquist.

“I am excited and proud that we are one of three places in the nation that still turns the river green,” Sundquist said. “We couldn’t do this without your help and the help of the leprechaun. Thank you to (Smeraldo) and Collaborative Children’s Solutions for putting on this event.”

Sundquist called for the crowd to help him count down from 10; the Chadakoin River soon flowed green with cheers from the crowd.

Another part of the celebration took place at Northwest Arena with a craft show. Vendors sold handmade items that ranged from crocheted items to jewelry.

Sue Miller, owner of Welcome Gnome, had a booth of her own handmade clay figurines.

“I love to do events like this,” Miller said. “I love to do events that support children.”

Another booth at the event was Trades of Hope, owned by Amber Sipior. Her business focuses on using fashion as a force for good and allows the creation of jobs for women around the world. Her items included coffee and different types of jewelry made by women from different countries.

“We empower women around the world,” Sipior said. “I enjoy popping up at community events like this, and when I saw it supported Collaborative Children’s Solutions and Aspire, I wanted to be a part of it.”

Gary Mooney was helping as a fellow leprechaun over at the children’s section of the event. He has lived in Jamestown for five years, with this year being his third year attending the event. He also got to play the part of the leprechaun who turned the river green in 2018.

“It’s a family gathering and a community gathering,” Mooney said. “It keeps the family alive and keeps them close.”

Zach Altschuler, executive assistant to the mayor, said of the day, “It’s really fun. There’s more to do this year. There’s more people, and it’s nice weather for it too.”


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