Watch the Chicago River turn green in this festive St. Patrick’s Day time-lapse

This videographer has the best view in the city to watch the river undergo its Irish transformation.

Internet Culture

Published Mar 17, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 7:11 am CDT

BY NATALIE KRAWCZYK

Every year since 1962, officials have dyed the Chicago River a bright green during Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. And for the second year in a row, Kurt Miller had the best view in the city to watch the river undergo its Irish transformation.

The annual event draws thousands of spectators to watch along the riverbanks as several motorboats dump an orange powder into the river. Once the powder hits the water, the river instantly turns green. In less than an hour, a portion of the 156-mile waterway is completely green and ready for St. Patrick’s Day.

According to the Chicagoist, the Plumbers Local union holds the responsibility of actually dyeing the river. They do so by dumping about approximately “40 pounds of vegetable dye” into the river, which keeps it bright green for around five hours.

Hey, Boston, who’s got the better St. Patrick’s Day celebration now?

Screengrab via YouTube

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*First Published: Mar 17, 2015, 12:58 pm CDT