Chicago’s Green River - St. Patrick’s Day

This past weekend was one of the coldest St. Patrick’s Days that I can remember. Although, the past 4 years of celebrations were in Louisville, KY which is more warm anyhow. This year, since I’m in Illinois, I wanted to take advantage of where I live and experience what Chicago offers. Do you ever take for granted what’s easily in reach for you? Because out of all the years I’ve lived outside of Chicago (with my math, that looks to be 22...woof), I’ve never seen the Chicago river turn green for St. Patrick’s Day.

So, with that goal in mind, and my cousin, brother, and brother’s girlfriend wanting to go as well, we started planning. The dying of the river is what sets the celebrations in action starting at 9am. My cousin and I got on a 6:20am train to get downtown - though she ended up missing the train and rushing to another line to get downtown in time. We got to the river around 8am, deciding to get a good spot to see the action instead of worrying about how cold it was or how hungry we were.

In the spirit of this holiday (or how Americans usually celebrate it), I had a water bottle with strawberry vodka and sprite eagerly warming us up while we waited. Then, it was finally close to 9 when a small speedboat came up the river and passed us. A few moments later, I saw everyone’s cellphones go up, and there came the boats - dumping this yellow neon dye into the river. After a few passes, a large river cruiser came through with more dye, spun around in the river to churn up the dye and the river finally turned green. The color was incredible and I’m so glad I got to experience it - even though we were freezing.

Relevant Adventures

Chicago German Market

Green in Scotland