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Don’t Miss The Chicago River Turning Green For St. Patrick’s Day! How To Watch

chicago river green

This weekend is St. Patrick’s Day, which means the Chicago River will soon turn green!

The Windy City will be celebrating the holiday with its annual tradition today, March 16th. Like every year since 1962, the Chicago Plumbers Union will be dying the iconic waterway electric green as a way of celebrating Irish heritage.

The event will take place in two hours at 10 a.m. CT, just ahead of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, according to¬†Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local 130.

Those wanting to watch the Chicago River turn green in person can do so from Upper Wacker Drive. The best views will be available between Columbus and Fairbanks. The lower level of the riverwalk with be closed.

Those who would rather stay in can watch he event happen live on the NBC Chicago streaming channel.

The Chicago Pumbers union colors the water with a mysterious orange dye that they spary into the water via boat. The color slowly fills the river from bank to bank, but it doesn’t last long. The green cast will only remain for a few hours.

The union won’t reveal what it uses in its dye. Apparently, several cities have tried to replicate the traditions in their own rivers, but all have failed. Green dye won’t actually color the water green, and no one has been able to figure out what hue of orange does the trick. In fact, the union admitted that its mixture works “in a stroke of luck.”

“If you were watching this for the first time you would think this is a mistake or a bad joke,” the union said, per NBC Chicago. “You see the dye is orange, and its initial color on the surface of the river is orange, and you would think to yourself what ‘heathen would do something like this.'”

Once the Chicago River turns green, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will follow. The 69th annual event will kick off at 12:15 p.m. The South Side Irish Parade will take place on Sunday, March 17, at 12 p.m.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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