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    Chicago River Dyed Green for St. Patrick’s Day

    Credit: Unsplash

    Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and as it does every year, the city of Chicago, Illinois is going all out for the occasion. The entire city is adorned with Irish green decorations, and the residents are in the mood to celebrate. However, what’s even more intriguing is the revival of an annual tradition that had been put on hold during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. To mark St. Patrick’s Day, the Chicago River has been adorned with a vibrant shamrock green color.

    This tradition dates back to the 1950s when Mayor Richard J Daley authorized the pouring of a chemical mixture into the river to investigate a persistent pollution issue. As a result, the water turned a bright green color, much to the delight of the public. Subsequently, in the 60s, the chemicals were replaced with a more eco-friendly vegetable-based dye, solidifying it as an annual custom.

    Despite the festive appeal of the green river, local environmentalists have been advocating for an end to this practice for a long time. Margaret Frisbie, the executive director of Friends of the Chicago River, expressed concerns about the river dyeing, stating, “Dyeing the river perpetuates the notion that it can be treated disrespectfully, rather than preserved as a valuable natural asset.”

    “Now more than ever, our lands and water bodies require protection, and our customs should adapt to acknowledge this need,” she added.

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