2013 ST. PATRICK’S DAY
March 16, 2013..
Although St Patrick’s Day is on 17th March, the parade takes place on the Saturday before the actual day, so this year it was on the 16th March. Chicago has this tradition of dyeing the Chicago River in an incredible shade of Irish or emerald green. What’s interesting is that the dye is of orange color, but when it touches the water it turns yellow-orange and soon enough into green. The Chicago River is anyways green, but normally it’s a murky shade of green. However, on this occasion it turns into bright emerald green.
The idea of dyeing the Chicago River green originally came about by accident. It goes back to the year 1961. A group of plumbers were using green dye to trace illegal substances that were polluting the river. Incidentally, Stephen Bailey, business manager of the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local Union; noticed the dye being used could become an interesting way to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day..
However the dye used then, is NOT used now-a-days as the Environmental Protection Agency outlawed the use of chemicals harmful to the
river. But now “secret” ingredients are used that are safe to the environment. Many other cities have tried but have not been successful at getting this perfect shade of green. What is the formula for the dye? Just like the recipe for Coca Cola, it’s a closely guarded secret! However the formula has been thoroughly tested by independent chemists and has been proven safe to the environment.
I reached the Chicago River at about 10am. The dyeing was just about to start. I wanted to stand there on the stairs and take photos. But the security personnel, were not allowing anyone to stand and making sure there was a constant flow of crowd on the stairs down to the River. The Michigan Avenue bridge was closed for the dyeing of the river. So here are some images from the south branch of Chicago River, close to the Michigan Avenue bridge.
DYEING of CHICAGO RIVER
Water stunt that blew me away!!!
Was this the first time that this kind of water stunt performed was performed, or has it been done earlier? Who was this person? Any kind of information is welcome! Also, notice the time on the Wrigley Bldg. clock. 10.05 am! The River is already green. The dyeing starts at 10.00 am. Very much on time!
The spirit of St. Patrick’s Day! I love the energy the day brings!
The Mounted Police of Chicago