Chicago has a long list of traditions. Some are fun and some, to be honest, are embarrassing. The great ones are the jazz and blues scenes, bundling up and freezing your feet off with 65,000 other people at a Bear’s game and everyone flocking to the lakefront on the first warm day. The worst ones are thinking this is finally the year the Cubs are going to win it all and our long standing tradition of corrupt government officials.
Somewhere in between is a tradition that on the surface should be a source of embarrassment but really is a lot of fun, the tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green for St. Patrick’s Day. It is all a bit silly. A couple of union guys in boats motor up and down a section of the Chicago River dumping in dye that causes the already green river to become a more iridescent and presumable more Irish shade of green. It is March in Chicago so it is almost always unpleasantly cold out and the whole thing lasts about ten minutes. So why would tens of thousands of people descend on the river for such a silly event, because it is a tradition and it is a part of living in Chicago.
The dyeing of the river starts at 10:00 a.m. sharp on Saturday March 17. The crowds are huge so to get a decent view it is best to arrive early. You can stand anywhere east of the Michigan Avenue Bridge up to just past the Columbus Avenue Bridge.