Chicago Kicks Off St. Pat's by Dyeing River Green

Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears at St. Patrick's Day ritual
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2012 3:09 PM CDT
Marina Towers loom in the background of a green Chicago river Saturday morning, March 17, 2012.   (AP Photo/Lois Bernstein)
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(Newser) – The city of Chicago has dyed its river green in a much-beloved yearly St. Patrick's Day ritual that brought thousands of revelers to downtown. Cheers erupted this morning as a motor boat sped around in a circle and a man on board dumped the secret dye mixture that in minutes transforms the river into a psychedelic green. A parade will be held downtown later in the day.

This year, Ireland's prime minister is in town to help lead the celebrations. Premier Enda Kenny appeared with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Both wore green ties and tucked shamrocks into their lapels. Kenny says he's honored to take part in Chicago's parade. He praised the city with a large Irish population for being so open and receptive to immigrants. (For a grumpier take on the Irish "pseudo-holiday," click here.)

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