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City of Tampa tests green dye ahead of River O' Green Fest

The free event will kickoff March 12 at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

TAMPA, Fla. — The city of Tampa's annual River O' Green Fest is returning after a two-year hiatus. 

A staple of the event is dyeing the Hillsborough River a festive, bright green in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

And, to make sure the event will go off without a hitch and bring full St. Patrick flair to downtown Tampa, the city completed a successful test run of the green dye in the river.

Workers climbed into their boats and released the non-toxic, biodegradable dye into a small portion of the river right in front of Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. 

RELATED: Tampa's River O' Green to make return in March

The city says the dye "is safe for the environment, non-toxic, biodegradable, meets all EPA standards and is certified for use by the National Sanitation Foundation Standard 60. In fact, it's the same dye often used in water systems to trace the flow of drinking water, in eye surgeries to trace blood vessels and in food."

When the event's return was announced, Mayor Jane Castor said Tampa is "ready to shamrock and roll."

Attendees can enjoy an Irish-themed celebration complete with live entertainment, food trucks, beer, family-friendly fun — and, of course, the bright green Hillsborough River.

The free event runs kicks off at 11 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

"It's been way too long since Tampa got its Irish on, so let's get ready to shamrock and roll at River O'Green 2022. One thing we can all a-green on is that this town knows how to paddy," Castor said in a statement.

You can watch the trial run here.

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