The St Paddy’s Day river dyeing is a fun tradition for Chicagoans and tourists alike, but where did it begin?
Years prior to today’s beautiful riverfront paths and the many kayak tours, the river was polluted with sewage water. Mayor Daley realized no one wanted to live next to a contaminated waterway, so he began cleaning it up. According to Chicago Mag, the city’s plumbers did this by putting some “green dye into the city’s waste systems to trace the flow of waste discharges”.
After the smears of green started appearing in the water, they got the idea to turn the entire thing green. The first time they tried it with a large batch, the river was green for almost a week. After a few years of trial and error, they finally got the amount right – and thus, the yearly day of radioactive-looking water was born in 1962.
The irony of all this?
The original formula was an oil-based fluorescein – meaning the substance that was originally used to help efforts to clean up the river, was actually super damaging for water. They switched the formula in 1966 after environmentalists lobbied to stop the use of it. Don’t worry, the tradition still lived on; they just switched to a vegetable-based dye in powder form.
So what exactly is in this power?
NO ONE KNOWS! The Plumbers Union refuses to reveal the trademark formula. Part of me is disturbed by this (what the heck are they dumping into our drinking water?!), and the other part thinks it’s like a secret recipe, akin to Olive Garden breadsticks.
For the first part, major environmental groups aren’t actively opposed to it, so it’s probably pretty harmless. But for the second…seriously, how are those breadsticks so delicious?!
Entertainment including the City of Chicago Pipe Band, Trinity Irish Dancers, The Dirty Wellies and so much more, the Irish American Heritage Center will be celebrating the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day.
The day-long celebration in the Fifth Province pub features live music, dance, food and drink for purchase and face painting for children.
The party is from noon to midnight and tickets are $10 for adults and children 12 and under are free. Mass is at 11:00 a.m.. Tickets can be purchased by clicking above, calling the Center office at 773-282-7035, ext. 10 or by visiting the IAHC Office.
Chicago Bulls Play the Utah Jazz
Date: Saturday, March 18th, 2017 Time: 8:00 p.m. Location: United Center
Always a great time, the Chicago Bulls light up the United Center for regular season play this weekend against the Utah Jazz. The last match-up in November proved victorious for the Bulls.
Get tickets here: http://www.nba.com/bulls/tickets
Come hungry, though! WLS-AM’s Rachel Brady takes a look at all of the delicious food you can grab while at the game.
It is also White Sox night, so if you’re not wearing your red, wear your black & white!
The Shannon Rovers Play Navy Pier
Date: Friday, March 17th, 2017 Time: 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Location: Various locations at Navy Pier
Go for an early lunch, late lunch or just skedaddle out of the office early to head to the pier for an Irish celebration at the pillar of Chicago activity.
Harry Caray’s also serving St. Pat’s Day specials:
Harp and Irish Cheddar Soup Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon Cup $3.95 | Bowl $5.95
Fish and Chips $17.95 Beer Battered Cod, Cabbage Slaw, Remoulade, French Fries
Hot Corned Beef Sandwich $9.95 Seeded Rye, Swiss Cheese, French Fries
Here is when the Shannon Rovers joined the John Howell Show!
Deer Park St. Patty’s Day 5k & 10k
Date: Saturday, March 18th, 2017 Time: 7:15 a.m. Location: Deer Park Town Center
Eat corned beef, have some Guinness, and then run it off on Saturday morning in either a 3.1-mile or 6.2-mile course in the northwestern suburbs. Register now!
Traffic Restrictions & Road Projects
Crown Point, Ind. St. Pat’s Day Parade: From the Indiana Department of Transportation, there is an alert of closures on State Road 55 and U.S. 231, between E Clark Street and both S West Street and S East Street in Crown Point, Lake County Friday, March 17 from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The City of Crown Point will close State Road 55 and U.S. 231 at this location to act as a parade route and for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
95th Street Red Line Terminal on the Ryan: Construction for the CTA’s 95th Street Terminal Improvement Project close the left northbound lane on I-57 and the Dan Ryan Expressway, between Halsted Street and 95th Street this weekend, continuing through the fall.
Wabash at Washington: The intersection of Wabash and Washington will be closed for the entire weekend from 9 p.m. Friday, March 17 through 6 a.m. Monday, March 20 for construction of the new elevated Washington-Wabash CTA Station.
The Chicago Department of Transportation says that motorists traveling eastbound on Washington will be detoured either left or right on State Street, back to an eastbound trip resuming on Lake or Monroe Streets.
CTA and Public Transit Weekend Alerts
It’s Transit Employee Appreciation Day and the RTA is encouraging riders to say “Thank You” to transit employees.
In a new release from the RTA, this Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18, the Regional Transportation Authority is asking riders to celebrate the contributions of the hard-working transit employees at Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace.
“We all know the familiar faces we see each day, whether it’s the man or woman who works at the station or the driver who makes sure we get to our destination. They become part of our daily commute and it’s nice to show we know them and appreciate the work they do,” said Leanne Redden, RTA Executive Director.
The RTA has created personalized “Thank You” cards that are available on its website that can be given to transit employees. These “transit thank you notes” are a simple and easy way to offer appreciation to the transit employees we see every day. Riders can also help spread the word about this special day by posting to their social media pages using the hashtag #LoveTransit.
Wabash at Washington: As a result of the construction work on the CTA Station at Wabash & Washington, a temporary closure of portions of the Loop elevated tracks with be required from 10 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Monday. Brown, Orange, Green and Pink line trains will be re-routed.
Orange and Brown Lines: Trains will operate as one route, between Kimball and Midway, via Wells and Van Buren on the Loop elevated.
Green Line: Trains will operate between Harlem and 63rd via Wells and Van Buren on the Loop elevated.
Pink Line: Trains will operate between 54th/Cermak and Polk, then to Racine Blue Line for connecting Blue Line train service to/from downtown.
For service to downtown from Pink Line stations between 54th/Cermak and Polk, take a Pink Line train toward the Loop and stay on board until the train reaches Racine on the Blue Line, where you can transfer to continuing Blue Line service into downtown.
For service from downtown to Pink Line stations between Polk and 54th/Cermak, take a Blue Line train toward Forest Park to Racine and transfer to a Pink Line train toward 54th/Cermak.
For service to/from Ashland, Morgan or Clinton stations, use Blue Line service between Racine and Jackson, and Green Line service.
Customers may transfer between the Loop elevated, and Blue and Red line subways at Harold Washington Library (Loop elevated) and Jackson (Blue and Red lines) stations. Allow extra travel time.
Quincy CTA Station: The Quincy station southeast street-to-mezzanine stairway will be temporarily closed from Thursday, March 16 until further notice. Entry/exiting between the street and station mezzanine will be available via the stairways on the northeast, northwest, and southwest corners of Quincy and Wells streets.