St. Patrick’s Day Spectacle: Chicago River Turns Lush Green in 2024 🍀

“Green River” is about to take on a whole new meaning this weekend as the Chicago River once again gets dyed green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

When and Where?

  • Date: Saturday, March 16, 2024
  • Time: The 2024 Chicago River dyeing for St. Patrick’s Day will commence at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 16, 2024. Be sure to arrive early to secure a prime viewing spot along the Chicago River! 🍀🌊
  • Location: The Chicago River, winding through the heart of the city, will transform into a vibrant emerald green spectacle.

The Mysterious Process

The Chicago Plumbers Union, affectionately known as the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local 130, holds the secret to this enchanting transformation.

Every year, they embark on boats that putter along the river, armed with a rather curious concoction. Picture this: plumbing pipes and spout pumps spraying an orange dye onto the water’s surface.

But wait—it doesn’t turn green immediately! If you were witnessing this for the first time, you’d probably think it was a mistake or a prank.

The initial color is orange, leaving you wondering, “What heathen would do something like this?” But fear not—the magic is just beginning.

The Origins of Emerald Waters

The story behind the Green River dates back to 1961. Stephen Bailey, the business manager of the plumbers union, encountered a plumber wearing white coveralls.

These coveralls, stained with a perfect shade of green—an Irish green, if you will—piqued Bailey’s curiosity.

How had they achieved this hue? The answer lay in the dye used to detect leaks in the river. Inspired by this accidental discovery, Bailey declared, “Call the mayor … we will dye the Chicago River green!” And so, a beloved tradition was born.

Chicago Plumbers Union Tradition

The Chicago Plumbers Union Tradition is a captivating part of the city’s history. Every year, these skilled plumbers embark on boats along the Chicago River armed with a curious concoction.

They spray an orange dye onto the water’s surface, transforming it into a vibrant emerald green—a beloved St. Patrick’s Day spectacle.

This magical tradition unites the spirit of Irish celebration with the craftsmanship of the plumbers, creating an enchanting experience for all who witness it.

Chicago River Dyeing Weather Update

The 2024 Chicago River dyeing promises pleasant weather conditions for spectators. Expect mild temperatures as the event kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 16, 2024.

While there will be plenty of viewing spots along the river, consider watching the festivities from home via the live stream provided by NBC Chicago.

For those attending in person, the best views are available between Columbus and Fairbanks on Upper Wacker Drive.

Don your green attire and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in true Chicago style! 🍀🌊