Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dye the River Green

The Chicago River is dyed green every year to celebrate St. Patty's Day. Last night, during a St. Patty's Day celebration, we got into a discussion on how and why the river is actually dyed green. I wanted to share my findings:

The tradition started in 1961 as Stephen Bailey, Business Manager of the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local Union, discovered that local plumbers were using green dye to locate and fix a leak in the waste line that was emptying into the river. It was dyeing the edge of the river green and it was his idea to have the entire river dyed green for St. Patrick's Day. Read the entire story here.

The dyeing of the river today is actually done by a man named Mike Butler and his crew, a privately funded operation. They pour a secret, EPA approved dye into the river that initially turns the river orange and then to a brilliant emerald green.


Two/Dos Pretzels said...

This is VERY cool. Excellent post.

All Things Red said...

I LOVE this - so pretty! Is DT going to see the green river tomorrow???

wrestling kitties said...

I think this is totaly cool!!!

How fun!

Kristen W. said...

I think it would be great to go to Chicago for St. Patty's Day and get a jar of this green water. I don't know if the dye would eventually disintegrate and then I'd be left with a jar of muddy-puke water, though. I should do some research first.