How Chicago Turns Its River Green For St. Patrick's Day

The Chicago river is colored a bright green today, in celebration of St. Patrick's Day!

But how do they manage to pull off such a feat?!

Green River, Chicago

Photo: Getty Images

The tradition goes back to 1962, when Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley -- a descendant of Irish immigrants -- had the idea of turning Lake Michigan green. While the lake was far too big, a group of plumbers figured out a way to color the city's river using 100 pounds of green dye.

That dye ended up keeping the water green for weeks... so nowadays they use a vegetable-based powder dye that wears off after a few days!

"The dying of the river green is such a public event that it helped concretize the celebration of St. Patrick's day in the city," Peter Alter, chief historian at the Chicago History Museum said.

Read more on Travel + Leisure.

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