If your travels throughout southeast Minnesota take you near the mighty Zumbro River in downtown Rochester, did you notice how festive it looks today, all decked out in green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Chicago River Dyed Green In St. Patrick's Day Tradition
Getty Images

Well, probably not, because the Zumbro isn’t dyed green– there won’t be any nautical nods to the ‘Luck ‘o the Irish’ as it winds through the Med City.

And while there are St. Patrick’s Day celebrations planned at various Rochester establishments, St. Paul is probably the closest Minnesota city to us that really goes all out in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

And even though various revelers started celebrating St. Patty’s day early this morning up in St. Paul, even there, nobody dyes the Mississippi River green. (At least that I’m aware of.) Wouldn’t it be cool, though, to see Rochester’s own main waterway dyed a festive shade of green for a few days around St. Patrick’s Day each year?

USA Today lists the many cities across the country that turn a river in their community green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. In Chicago, they started dyeing the Chicago River green last weekend to get ready for this week’s big doings — a practice that has been around awhile, according to the article.

So how do they do it? Well, the article says, “The city turns the river green by dumping roughly 40 pounds of a secret formula powder into the river, Tom Rowan, the head of the river crew told The Chicago Tribune. Boats help churn the water, which mixes the environmentally-friendly powder, into the river turning it a maximum green in about 45 minutes.”

As for us here in the Med City, we’ll just have to use our imagination if we want to visualize the Zumbro River in various hues of green. Of course, depending on how much celebrating you do on St. Patrick’s Day, that task might not be all that tough to do…

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