St Patricks Day in Chicago and the Green River

A modern day miracle occurs each year as part of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebration when the Chicago River turns an incredible shade of Irish green.

For the past 40+ years the Chicago River turns green for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebration. One would ask how this is different from the rest of the year when the river is always a murky shade of green. The difference is both significant and breathtaking because the color green is identical to the greens of Ireland from where it got its name “The Emerald Isle.”

In 1961  Stephen Baily was approached by a plumber who was wearing some white coveralls, they knew this only because they could see some of the original color. These coveralls had been mostly stained or dyed a perfect shade of green, an Irish green to better describe it.

It was when Stephen Bailey asked how the coveralls got this way, that they discovered that the dye used to detect leaks into the river turned green, not just any color green, but the perfect color green.  Baily said“Why couldn’t we dye the whole river for St. Patrick’s Day?”

A green tradition was born in Chicago.

And they actually use an orange dye, not green!

Where and When

10:30 – 10:45am: Saturday March 13th.

This is scheduled  around 10:30-10:45, Saturday March 13th and can be best viewed from the East side of the bridge at Columbus Drive or upper and lower Wacker Drive between Columbus and Lake Shore Drive.