CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago River was dyed a brilliant shade of inexperienced Saturday after Mayor Lori Lightfoot reversed an earlier determination to not tint the waterway for second yr due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Crews on boats started dumping inexperienced dye into the riverfront about 7 a.m. after Lightfoot licensed the dyeing forward of St. Patrick’s Day, delighting pedestrians with the vivid scene.
Chicago residents Lori Jones and Mike Smith surveyed the inexperienced waters, saying they have been glad the custom that dates to 1962 was resumed this yr.
“We’re comfortable that Mayor Lightfoot determined to proceed with this custom as a result of we actually missed it final yr, as quite a lot of different issues in 2020,” Jones, 59, instructed the Chicago Tribune.
Final yr, Lightfoot abruptly canceled the town’s 2020 parades and the river dyeing simply days earlier than they have been to happen within the early days of the pandemic. She referred to as off the parades once more this yr as a result of lingering pandemic and mentioned the river would as soon as once more not be dyed.
However a Lightfoot spokesman mentioned in an announcement that the town opted “to honor the long-standing custom” and licensed its companions, the Chicago Plumbers Union Native 130, to dye the river.
The occasion was not publicized upfront “with a view to decrease crowds and keep away from congregating,” the spokesman mentioned. “Moreover, the Riverwalk shall be closed on Saturday and Chicagoans trying to see the River in the course of the day are urged to ‘hold it transferring’ and have fun safely and responsibly.”
Daniel Elton, senior editor at Wahu Times, writes about politics and policy with a focus on climate advocacy. Daniel previously at the New Republic and, and Self. Daniel can be reached by email.