Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Cancelled… No Painting Of The Chicago River…Here Is A Look At This Tradition!

No Painting Chicago Green!

The Coronavirus situation has forced us all to change the way we live our daily lives, as public events are being cancelled out of an abundance of caution…one such event is Chicago’s traditional “painting the river green.”

In fact, here is an update on all of Chicago’s St. Patricks celebrations:

The downtown Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which was set for today, as well as Sunday’s South Side Irish Parade and the Northwest Side parades are all cancelled.

The annual dyeing of the Chicago River will also be rescheduled “to a later date,” city officials said.

The city of Chicago began “painting” the river green in 1962.

Sad news to share, so I wanted to share my pictures of when I was in Chicago during this time of celebration – beginning with the “painting” of Chicago’s river!

As wikipedia reports, the inspiration for the stunt came from pollution-control workers, who used various chemical dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges. Yep, they got the idea while looking for “sewage discharge!”

That first year, the city dumped 100 pounds of dye into the river, which left it green for an entire week! As you can see from these photos, it really works!

Officials say they actually use less than 25 pounds of dye, and it’s vegetable-based, so its safe to everything and everyone who is in the water!

Here is a look at this great tradition:

After the spray down, then smaller boats stir it all in…the entire ceremony takes a half hour, then it’s usually on to the next celebration – a parade – followed by a day long celebration that lasts well into the night…with lots of green souvenirs available to buy as well!

Yes, there is plenty of green beer served as well…hopefully, Chicagoans will continue that tradition in smaller groups.

I look forward to the resumption of our everyday lives…as we triumph against this virus – we all show our true strength, and our ability to come together to fight a common enemy, in this case a worldwide one.

The annual dying of the Chicago river is just one reason to love this town – this is another:

Yes, Chicago’s legendary Deep Dish Pizza is as tasty as it looks…it’s one of the reasons my “Six Shot Saturday” looked at the Windy City – see more here:

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Categories: chicago, Exotic Travel, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Wacky Food

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23 replies

  1. Green beer and a slice of pizza sounds good to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I appreciate the sentiment and agree with you John. I’m wishing you and yours well. Thank you for the post about the wonderful windy city.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A pity this celebration had to be cancelled, John. My son’s school have had to cancel their Easter Rugby Festival which is also a long-term tradition. Hopefully, it will all be normal again before the end of this year.


  4. Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:

    Happy Valentine’s Day! Even though the parades were cancelled and Chicago’s River lacked the festive “green”, you can still have a green beer!


  5. I am crying green tears. Really. This is such a wonderful tradition.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just back from Illinois. The talk is how odd it is there’s no parade. What a strange time. The things we take for granted when we surround ourselves with other people is suspended. Good post reminding all what we’re missing. Especially the pizza. Yum.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, it’s been a long time since we’ve had to change our way of living…went to Whole Foods today and there was plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, which is what we wanted…people are staying calm – we will all get through this

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good food, good drink, good company, good sights, what else do you need? 🙂 Thanks for creating a surrogate St. Patrick’s Day Parade for us through the GREAT photos! Did you know that the first St. Patrick’s day parade took place in … Boston?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’d love to see that green Chicago River some day! Guess not this year! 😉


  9. It is sad that so many of these festivals and traditions are being cancelled – even though it does make sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. They have cancelled our St. Patrick’s Day parade here too. I know it is Spain, but it is the biggest St. Pats Day parade in Europe outside of Ireland. I love that green river. Clever.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Long time, no see …. but great to see you on form. It is sad that this crazy tradition has been victim, along with so many other things (here in Boston no St Patricks, postponed Marathon, no MFA, Isabella Stuart Gardner, Museum of Science, Harvard, MIT et al closed for the duration) …. this virus is taking such a toll on everything and the fear it is wreaking is akin to an invasion. Loved your pictures 💫


  12. I had never heard of the green river, what fun, do the fish go green?

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Chicago’s Incredible River Walk Is Closed! Here’s A Tour Of What You Can’t See! – johnrieber

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