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

[courtesy wgntv.com]

[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 and a video – I hope you enjoy it and, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” from Chicago!]

[courtesy tripsavvy.com]

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. The video below provides an interesting vantage point to see how the river is dyed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1E3nFJ81zE [Video courtesy WGN News via youtube.com]

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%5D

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!

[courtesy gunaxin.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 a few years ago just 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”!

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

  1. March 17, 2019 at 10:46 am


    Liked by 1 person

    • March 17, 2019 at 1:17 pm

      Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, Beth! Thank you! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. March 17, 2019 at 11:08 am

    Fabulous photographs. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 17, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      I only took two of them, but I agree with you on the others! Thank you, my fellow Chicagoan! Cher xo


    • March 17, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you also for the re-link my dear! Cher xo


  3. March 17, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    The Chicago Green River … a must see!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. March 17, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Interesting. Happy St Pat,s day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 17, 2019 at 1:19 pm

      The first time I saw it Don, I couldn’t believe my eyes! So glad they use a vegetable dye. And to you as well; thank you! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. March 17, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    Just read an article about the person in charge of this too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 17, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      Yes, I read that too, Teri!! Cher xo


  6. Denise Williams
    March 18, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Our Red River could sure use a splash of colour. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 18, 2019 at 8:54 am

      You mean, as it a splash of ‘red’, or something else? LOL Cher xo


  7. March 30, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    That really is disturbing looking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 30, 2019 at 3:35 pm

      Hi Ellen, it’s actually vegetable-based dye. If it were anything else but I’d be up in arms! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 30, 2019 at 3:38 pm

        I do understand that. It triggers all my wait-a-minute, that’s-not-supposed-to-be-that-color reflexes, that’s all.

        Liked by 1 person

      • March 30, 2019 at 3:43 pm

        Totally understandable, Ellen! I remember the first time I had saw a purple carrot I thought, “This cannot be right!” 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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