Why does the color of the Chicago River turn green every year? Is this a chemical water treatment? Hazmat? Discover what’s behind this strange sighting in the following post.
Yesterday, March 15, 2014, the Chicago river has turned green at around 9:30 A.M. So what’s the phenomenon behind?
Chicago has neither been invaded by slimy aliens nor industries have released chemicals in the Chicago River. No, turning the Chicago river green has been unique to Chicago for over 40 years.
So, what’s the story behind the green color?
Each year as part of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebration, the Chicago River turns an incredible shade of Irish green.
As reported by Green Chicago River:
In 1961 Stephen Bailey was approached by a plumber who was wearing some white coveralls, they knew this only because they could see some of the original color. These coveralls had been mostly stained or dyed a perfect shade of green, an Irish green to better describe it. It was when Stephen Bailey asked how the coveralls got this way, that they discovered that the dye used to detect leaks into the river turned green, not just any color green, but the perfect color green. “A tradition is born”
If you were watching this for the first time you would think this is a mistake or a bad joke. You see the dye is orange and its initial color on the surface of the river is orange and you would think to yourself what heathen would do something like this. After a moment or two you then see the true color magically appear.
Two miracles appear that day, the river turns a perfect shade of green something that many other cities have tried but have not been successful at doing, and the second miracle by starting with the color orange giving the impression that river will be orange only to convert the river to that true Irish green. We believe that is where the leprechaun comes in.
Then the green color makes its road from Chicago to Ireland… And it’s marked in green. From the Chicago River to the Illinois River, then to the Mississippi, up the Gulf Stream and across the Atlantic you can see the beautiful green enter the Irish Sea, clearly marking the way from Chicago to Ireland. Well not really! 😉
Most people do not know that this is a privately funded operation, which gets more expensive each year. If you want to experience this magic phenomenon during the following years, you can support their sponsors here!