2023 Chicago River Dyeing
Wacker & State, Chicago, IL, USA
attractions & tours
What you will experience
📍Between Columbus Drive and State Street
In Chicago, dyeing the river green is a cherished tradition that signals the start of St. Patrick's Day festivities. Starting in 1962, and continuing every year after, members of the Journeymen Plumbers Local Union 130 gather to dump gallons of green dye into the Chicago River, transforming it into a vibrant shade of emerald. The spectacle is an iconic part of Chicago’s yearly celebration and has even sparked similar traditions in other cities.
This year, the river dyeing will take place on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day on March 11 starting at 10 am. The dye used is plant-based, temporary, and completely safe for wildlife. If you want to catch the best views and snap the most Instagram-worthy photos, head to Upper Wacker Drive between Columbus and Fairbanks. Just make sure to get there early—the spaces fill up fast. The Chicago River will remain green for about five hours—long enough to enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day Parade—before returning to its original color.
NOTE: Bucket Listers is not affiliated with the Chicago River Dyeing. This event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations required.
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