ASHLAND -- Mayor Matt Miller brought a big-city tradition to Ashland Wednesday when he dyed Town Creek green for St. Patrick's Day.
Approximately 50 gathered at Broad Street Bridge and the surrounding parking lots to watch as the mayor and other city officials colored the creek, which is also known as Center Run.
"It's fun that Ashland leaders said, let's get into the spirit. You don't have to go to Chicago or somewhere else. We can enjoy this here," Ashland resident Steve Huber said.
He met his wife, daughter and two grandsons at the bridge after a meeting in the city's municipal building. They watched together as the mayor and others poured biodegradable powder into the creek, turning the water green.
"This is kind of like a live experiment because the truth is we don't know how long the green's going to hold," Mayor Miller said to the crowd. "We don't know if it'll wash right away, but we do know it'll turn green at least for a little bit."
City employees were to add more dye throughout the day to keep it colored through 7:30 p.m.
"It was actually red, and then it turned green," five-year-old Greer Chandler said about the water.
His mother Erin laughed. Green is his favorite color, she said.
She had brought him and 4-year-old relative Graham Emmons to the event because his favorite color is green.
When she asked if he had any other comments about the event, Greer was quick with his response.
"It was science," the boy said.
Downstream, Ann Schar and a handful of other people watched from the South Street bridge. Schar had been dining at South Street Grille and left with other restaurant diners to see the view. They returned to finish their lunch afterwards.
"There was excitement in the air," Schar said.
Another Ashland resident Cheryl Smith intentionally drove into downtown for the occasion, taking a break from her work-at-home office.
"I had a meeting that ended 10 minutes early so I jumped in my car and drove down to the creek," Smith said. "I love Ashland and the Mayor and the city have done so much to bring it to life. This is just one more little fun thing, and I am glad I got to see them do it."
Miller said he alerted the water department, sanitation officials and soil and water officials to the plan, and it was approved.
No taxpayer dollars were spent to color the creek or add a giant inflatable leprechaun in front of the city's municipal building for the day. The funds were donated.
The mayor anticipates dying the creek annually. In the future, Miller also imagines a parade and a live band.