Tag Archives: St. Patrick’s Day

The History and Mystery of Dyeing the Chicago River Green

The History and Mystery of Dyeing the Chicago River Green

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?!

For a more in-depth look at the river-dyeing, read these articles from Chicago Tribune, Mental Floss, and Chicago Mag.

Weekend A-Jenda: March 17th – March 19th, 2017

Click Here for Weekend Traffic Projects
Click Here for Weekend CTA Travel Alerts

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Date: Friday, March 17th, 2017
Time: Noon until Midnight
Location: Irish American Heritage Center

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.

From the website irish-american.org,

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

Corned Beef and Cabbage $18.95 Buttered Parsley Potatoes, Baby Carrots, Pommerey Mustard, Horseradish Cream

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.


Click to enlarge and print! Then give to your daily driver.

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.


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Americans drink more when merry, polls shows

By Lauren Booker, Special to CNN
(CHICAGO) As countless revelers will prove on St. Patrick’s Day, drinking and being merry go hand in hand. Now a poll is backing up that truism.
The Harris survey found that Americans who are 21 and older more often choose to drink alcohol during good times instead of when facing a challenging day.
Drinkers of legal age crack open a bottle to celebrate a special occasion (86%), on their birthday (73%) or when having an amazing day (72%).
On the other hand, they drink significantly less when facing a horrible day (60%), feeling stressed (52%) or after a breakup (40%). And when they were experiencing tough times, 40% of them drank beer.
Addiction medicine specialist Dr. Steven Melemis thinks otherwise, however. Based on his 30 years of experience, he said patients turn to alcohol during tense situations.
“They tend to drink more when under stress or after a stressful period,” Melemis said in an email.
The Harris poll evaluated 1,360 periodical alcohol drinkers’ habits in December 2015, based on demographics such as gender, region, politics and age.
Men reached for beer on any occurrence from break-up heartache to having a birthday, according to the poll.
Women poured themselves a glass of wine during a stressful moment, fabulous day, their birthday and celebratory occasions. When life took a turn for the worse, ladies brought out the liquor.
“Liquor is the booze of preference for women, Midwesterners, Southerners, baby boomers, matures, independents, suburbanites, rural dwellers and those with no kids in the house, while each of their counterparts reach for a cold one,” according to the Harris Poll.
Millennials’ first choice for alcohol was beer. Generation Xers and baby boomers go for a mix of beer, wine and liquor, depending on the occasion. People 70 and older leaned toward liquor during unpleasant times and wine for jubilant occasions.
“While there’s little deviation from the choice of wine based on demographics, a few key groups do stand out in their drink of choice. Men and millennials both turn first to beer for their celebratory toast, while Southerners turn to liquor,” the poll found.
The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.