RIVER NORTH – While most holidays in Chicago are celebrated with a dozen Old Styles and public displays of raucousness, this Thursday, residents are planning a much more low-key way to alter their state of consciousness. Reports from city officials confirm that in efforts to promote an occasion that leads to less barf on the sidewalk, and uptick in convenience store snack sales, they’re getting creative with it. This 4/20: they’re tie-dyeing the Chicago River.
“Everyone loves when we dye the river green for St. Patrick’s Day, so we decided to do a fun new twist on an old tradition.” Martha Larchmont, 47, City Holiday Ambassador, told our reporters. “We’re also hoping that Chicagoans will be more inclined to toke up, relax, and enjoy Downtown, rather than shot-gunning packs of High Noon on the Red Line.”
When asked about the practical methods of tie-dying a river, Larchmont sent us to the Resident Water Artist, Anjali Patel, 24. “I’m gonna be honest, I took this job kind of as a joke right out of grad school. It’s a job that requires one color, one weekend of the year. But now I’m worried I'm a bit over my head, I haven’t done tie-dye since summer camp.”
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Reports confirmed the city is working on copyrights to replace the stars on the Chicago flag with Grateful Dead Bears for the marketing campaign, blasting Peter Tosh’s “Legalize It” from riverfront speakers, and they have booked Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson to rip a ceremonial bong-hit at the start of the dyeing ceremony. (They offered the honor to current Mayor Lori Lightfoot, but she said she'd have to arrest herself.)
Some city dwellers worry that the city sponsored doobie-day celebrations will take the fun out of the sacred holiday. “It’s like when your Mom learns a new slang word and won’t stop using it incorrectly,” Marvin Glardoff, 34, confided in us. “For the city to acknowledge 4/20 by dyeing the river, I feel like it’ll harsh the vibe. Like, kids coming in from Wrigleyville to eat one edible. That’s amateur hour. You gotta live this lifestyle all year round in order to really understand this momentous day.”
Mark your calendars for 10 a.m., or 10:30, or 2:47 p.m. depending on when the city staff can get organized after partaking in 4/20 morning festivities. This will surely be an April 20th to remember. Or, at the very least, to have a hazy recollection of.