Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Chicago's Green River

Chicago is famous for many things; Oprah, the Sears Tower, blues, Obama, The Chicago Theatre, for being 'The Windy City', Jerry Springer, its Hilton Hotel and not to forget a spectacular annual event: dyeing the Chicago River green. The tradition started more than forty seven years ago, when pollution-control workers used dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and noticed that the green materials used could be the basis for a unique way to celebrate the start of the St Patrick's holiday. In 1962, city workers released more than 100 pounds of green vegetable dye into 'Chicago river' (it is not hard to guess where it got its name from). It turned out to be more than enough to keep the river coloured for a week! These days, the city council tries to minimize environmental damage, so only forty pounds of dye are used, making the river green for just a couple of hours. Last Saturday, March 14, thousands of people headed over to the river banks to see the green spectacle, which is the start of the St. Patrick's festivities.,,