If you wondered what makes the Chicago River green every St. Patrick’s Day we will make short explanations for you.
Every year, on St. Patrick’s Day, the city of Chicago turns into a sea of green. From shamrock decorations to green beer, the Irish holiday is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the Windy City. But perhaps the most iconic tradition is the dyeing of the Chicago River. For over half a century, the river has been turned a bright shade of green every St. Patrick’s Day, leaving both locals and tourists alike in awe. But what exactly turns the Chicago River green each year? Let’s dive into the mystery and find out.
What turns the Chicago River green each St. Patrick’s Day?
To put it simply, the Chicago River is dyed green using a vegetable-based dye that is poured into the river, turning it a bright emerald green color. The dyeing of the river is a highly anticipated event that is watched by thousands of people every year. But how did this tradition begin?
The history behind the green river
The tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green dates back to 1962 when a group of plumbers noticed that a dye they were using to trace leaks in the sewer system turned the river a bright shade of green. They thought it would be a fun idea to dye the river green for St. Patrick’s Day, and the rest is history. Since then, the tradition has become an iconic part of Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
How is the dye made?
The dye used to turn the Chicago River green is made from a secret recipe that is only known to a few people. It is said to be a combination of vegetable dye and a secret ingredient that gives the dye its bright emerald green color. The dye is completely safe for the environment and does not harm the aquatic life in the river.
Who is responsible for dyeing the river?
The dyeing of the Chicago River is done by a team of volunteers from the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local Union 130. They are the same group of plumbers who first came up with the idea of dyeing the river green in 1962. The dyeing process takes about five hours to complete and involves pouring about 40 pounds of dye into the river.
Is the dye harmful to the environment?
No, the dye used to color the river is completely safe for the environment and does not harm the aquatic life in the river.
How long does the river stay green?
The river stays green for about 5 hours after the dye is poured in. It gradually fades away over the course of the day.
Can I swim in the river when it’s green?
It is not recommended to swim in the river, even when it’s not green. The Chicago River is not a safe place for swimming due to pollution and strong currents.
The tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green has become an integral part of the city’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. It’s a fun and unique way to celebrate the holiday and has been a source of awe and wonder for both locals and tourists alike. While the recipe for the dye may be a closely guarded secret, the fact remains that it’s completely safe for the environment and doesn’t harm the river’s aquatic life. So, next time you’re in Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day, make sure to check out the iconic green river and marvel at the mystery behind what turns the Chicago River green each year.