going green

For the White House and McDonald's, a St. Patrick's Day to Dye For

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 17, 2011 01:30 PM

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, President Obama today announced he will be visiting Ireland in May. His trip will include a visit to Donegal, where his great-great-great-great grandfather was born.

In keeping with its annual tradition, the water in the White House fountain is bright green today, but that's not America's most famous annual green dye job pegged to St. Paddy's Day.

That honor goes to McDonald's, which every year since 1961 has dyed the Chicago river green to promote its limited-edition Shamrock Shake and raise money for its Ronald McDonald House charity — a move that isn't perceived as entirely green, even as the chain itself adopts more sustainable practices.

Back in Washington, in addition to hosting Ireland's Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the White House event included a performance by Irish singer (and Academy Award-winner, for Once) Glen Hansard, who tweeted, "A great honour for an Irishman!"

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