SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Park fountains in Savannah are gushing bright green water — a signal that St. Patrick's Day will arrive soon.

Organizers of Savannah's St. Patrick's Day parade gathered Friday to pour watering cans full of green dye into the wrought-iron fountain in Forsyth Park. A large crowd of onlookers erupted in cheers as the clear water turned a glittering emerald green.

Green fountains flow at Savannah, Georgia St. Patrick's Day event.

Crews across the city, meanwhile, performed similar dye jobs on Savannah's other fountains.

The so-called "greening of the fountains" marks the start of St. Patrick's Day festivities in Georgia's oldest city, which has celebrated the Irish holiday for 194 years.

The March 17 parade falls on a Saturday this year. The chairman of the parade organizing committee, Brian Counihan, says he expects a crowd of 500,000 or more.