Green Dye Filtered Out of River and Returned to Chicago’s Relish Supply

March 22, 2022

CHICAGO — With St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and benders coming to an end, Chicago Parks District and Plumbers Local Union have finished the process of filtering out the green dye from the Chicago River. The vibrant green dye will now be returned to where it belongs, our city’s relish supply.

The tradition of dyeing the river green for St. Patrick’s Day dates back to 1962, when the Plumbers Local Union dumped gallons of the green dye traditionally used to color our city’s sixth favorite hot dog topping into the river “because [they]’re just crazy like that.” While the display was dazzling, the dye dumping led to city-wide shortages of the food dye that caused panic around the city.

“I remember when we got our order in that Monday,” said Sal “Al” Georgio, 68, a retired owner of Al’s Hotted Dogs on the West Side, “we looked at these jars of minced, normally-colored green vegetables and were like ‘what the fuck is this stuff?’ Nobody wanted to get near it. Thought it might be poisoned on account of how it wasn’t green like the Grinch’s fur.” 

Today, the dye is safely filtered out of the water using a machine made to purify water supplies in third-world nations that Chicago won in a bidding war with Doctors Without Borders. The dye is then returned safely to the relish factory. They say the owner of the relish factory is an eccentric man who’s never seen, but has promised a tour of his factory to anyone who finds the golden ticket he hid in one jar of relish. Happy hunting, Chicago!

Follow us

Sign up for the best of The Chicago Genius sent straight to your inbox.