Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dye Me A River

Chicago's premier St. Patrick's Day tradition started by accident almost 50 years ago. Plumbers were using dye in the Chicago River to test for chemical spills, and holy leprechaun! The dye turned the river a perfect shamrock green.

The plumbers' union still does the honors each year, dropping in the secret-recipe (and biodegradable) coloring from Columbus Drive Bridge. The magic happens at 10:45am today. The best spot to see it is from the bridge's east side.

The St. Pat's Parade follows at noon. Tall-hat-wearing brass bands, curly-haired step dancers, and giant inflatable leprechauns float down Columbus Drive from Balbo northward.

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