CHICAGO — The City of Chicago kicked off its weekend of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with dyeing the river green.

The Journeymen Plumbers Local Union 130 did the honors with crews pouring 50 pounds of dye into the river. They use 2-3 motorboats to spread the dye. The color reportedly lasts for several days. It takes about 45 minutes for the entire river to turn bright green.

The festivities will continue all weekend. After the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to the St. Patrick’s Day parade for two consecutive years, this year’s event will step off at 12:15 p.m. at Balbo and Columbus.

The South Side Irish parade is also returning this year, with the event scheduled for Sunday at noon at 103rd Street and Western Avenue, traveling south to 115th Street and Western Avenue.

Nearby businesses and Irish pubs are stocking up for what they expect to be one of their busiest weekends in a very long time.

More official information on street closures and start times can be found here.