CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago River has been dyed a bright shade of green, kicking off the city’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
Thousands of people lined the riverfront downtown Chicago on Saturday to see the dyeing, a tradition for the holiday that dates to 1962.
A parade was also scheduled. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and many candidates running in Tuesday’s primary election were expected to march.
The grand marshal is Alderman Patrick O’Connor. He says it’s a chance to celebrate “the hard working Irish men and women” of Chicago.
The Chicago Plumbers Union started the tradition of dyeing the river green, with a material once used to locate leaks in buildings. Organizers say the powder used is a secret recipe and is environmentally safe.