City Announces Chicago River to Be Dyed With Purell for St. Patrick's Day
North Loop — With concerns about the spread of Covid-19, city officials held a press conference Tuesday to announce that instead of dying the Chicago River the traditional Shamrock Green for St. Patrick’s Day, they would be dumping thousands of gallons of Purell® hand sanitizer into the river. Other St. Patrick’s Day festivities, such as the parade, will proceed as normal, with some slight adjustments to the parade route spectator areas.
“Obviously we’re not going to cancel the event,” chuckled city councilman Thomas Hanson, 55. “St. Patrick’s Day is important to Chicago’s culture and economy. If we cancel St. Patrick’s Day, what are bar owners going to do with all that green beer? Serve it later? No, no, no. That will not stand.”
Instead of the usual iconic display of Irish Pride, this year’s main event will feature several boats armed with high pressure pumps squirting the popular hand sanitizer brand into the river till it is “cleansed.”
“Public safety is our primary concern, but again, we’re really excited for this parade. So pumping gallons of jellied rubbing alcohol into the river is, we feel, a happy medium,” said Hanson. “We’ll also be spraying some on the crowd, just to make sure.”
In addition to the Purell® hosing, crowds can expect a number of changes to the parade and its staging area. This year, spectators are invited to stand no closer than twelve feet apart and to promise to turn and face the other direction when this year’s special float, “A Salute to Chicago’s Oldest Citizens,” rolls by. Shirt Jerks, a local merchandising company, have also made a deal with the city to provide everyone in attendance with a commemorative “I’m Irish, But Don’t Kiss Me, I Might Be a Vector For Covid-19” t-shirt.
When pressed about the environmental effects of dumping a substance high in alcohol into the river, Thomas was cavalier.
“It’s not any worse than the dye really. We’re just trading green fish for clean fish. That’s fun because it rhymes. We’re not really worried though. I mean it’s not like the river can catch on fire,” said Thomas about the Chicago River, which has previously caught fire several times. “The important thing is that the event...brings in the green.” concluded Thomas, who then put on shamrock sunglasses and Heely’d away.