WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is going green for St. Patrick's Day.BTW, President Obama is Irish:
The water in the fountains on the north and south lawns of the White House has been dyed green to mark the national holiday of Ireland.
First Lady Michelle Obama came up with the idea for the festive touch, said spokeswoman Katie McCormick Lelyveld. She was inspired by the St. Patrick's Day celebrations in her hometown of Chicago, where the city marks the holiday by dyeing the river green.
"It's a little piece of home for our new home," said Lelyveld, who is also from Chicago.
Lelyveld said it's the first time the water in the White House fountains has been dyed. The green hue will stay until the dye runs outs.
President Barack Obama marks St. Patrick's Day with separate meetings in Washington with Irish leaders and he'll also attend St. Patrick's Day events in the White House and on Capitol Hill.
Now, before I turn it over to the Taoiseach, it turns out that we have something in common. He hails from County Offaly. [Note: "King's County" before 1922] And it was brought to my attention on the campaign that my great-great-great grandfather on my mother's side came to America from a small village in County Offaly, as well. We are still speculating on whether we are related. (Laughter.)
I do share, though, a deep appreciation for the remarkable ties between our nations. I am grateful to him for his leadership of Ireland. The bond between our countries could not be stronger. As somebody who comes from Chicago, I know a little bit about Ireland, and the warmth, the good humor, and the fierce passion and intelligence of the Irish people is something that has informed our own culture, as well. And so that's why this day and this celebration is so important.