Happy St. Patrick’s Day, The Chicago Green River Way!


[courtesy https://www.clareecho.ie]

[note:  the dyeing of the Chicago River in honor of St. Patrick’s Day is an annual event.   This is a repost with some added pictures – I hope you enjoy it and, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” from Chicago!

Irish eyes must certainly be smiling again this year with the annual green dyeing of the Chicago River in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

Let’s take a quick jaunt down memory lane to see how this tradition transformed the way Chicagoans view St. Patrick’s Day.

In 1962, Mayor Richard J. Daley advocated to his old school friend (and Chicago Plumbers Union business manager) Stephen Bailey, that part of Lake Michigan be dyed green to celebrate to St. Patrick’s Day.  Mr. Bailey proposed a more practical suggestion:  dye the Chicago River green instead.  Thus became a ritual steeped in mystery as to the actual concoction from which the dye is made.  The only reveal is that it is vegetable-based, environmentally friendly, and lasts a mere few days when ‘magically’ the water is revised back to its original hue.  The Chicago Plumbers Union, Local 130, have participated in the pouring of the powder ever since.

Chicago River Green 2016 4

photo courtesy of http://www.chicagostpatsparade.com/

As you can see in the above photo, the enigmatic powder is actually orange until it mixes with motion.  Ah, then the fun begins!  Approximately 40 pounds of the grit is all it takes to change the Chicago River a brilliant green.  Believe it or not, the river rears its green sheen after about 45 minutes!

Chicago River Green 2016 1

– photo courtesy of chicagotribune.com

There is a large Irish population in Chicago; however, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are for everyone; why, one look at the river and you’ll understand what inclusive really means!

Here are a few photos that I took last year about two days after St. Patrick’s Day:


And a little white bird, with the sun beaming down, contrasted nicely against the green water:


Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone, and a special greeting to those who call the Emerald Isle, “home”!

  14 comments for “Happy St. Patrick’s Day, The Chicago Green River Way!

  1. March 17, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Amazing photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. March 17, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    It’s always amazing to see this ‘green river’ … love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lana
    March 17, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    I am finding hard to believe something vegetable based has this impact?!


    • March 17, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      Hi Lana, I have heard that decades ago they used chemicals for the green water but switched to vegetable-based dye after groups complained about the chemicals. I would never be in favor of chemical use so here’s hoping the information that’s given is correct. Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. March 17, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 17, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      *biggest grin* Why thank you, GP!! 🙂 And a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!! 😉 Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. March 17, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    I hope you find yourself blessed this St. Patrick’s day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 17, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      Thank you so much, Mihran! And to you as well! Cher xo


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