Chicago will dye river green amid toned down St. Patrick's Day

Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office announced early Saturday morning that the Chicago River would be dyed green amid toned down 2021 St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

Video Transcript

LIZ NAGY: And St. Patrick's Day will now kind of always serve as a marker. Last year, it was the last time people celebrated en masse before lockdowns went into place. And now this year, it will be the first holiday that's celebrated out in public as the pandemic just begins to wane.

St. Patrick's Day is Chicago's holiday.

AMY GILLESPIE: It's going to be different this year.

LIZ NAGY: After a grueling year, that goes without saying. But Saturday will also be the first time bars reopen for any sort of celebration.

AMY GILLESPIE: I think a lot more people will be out. The sun will be out. People want to celebrate. They want to get out there. And I think if they know that there are places that they can go to that are following the rules and doing the right things, they'll go and they'll be out.

LIZ NAGY: This will not be a post-pandemic type party. COVID-19 is very much still controlling public health restrictions.

- Green beer does not protect you from COVID.

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LIZ NAGY: For the second straight year, the city's St. Patrick's parade won't step off, and liquor control regulators say they've put bars and party buses on notice.

ROSA ESCARENO: We've communicated with all of them. They should know the guidelines. So if we pop in and you're having a party with a DJ and everybody's dancing, no masks, party is going to be terminated pretty quickly.

LIZ NAGY: After enduring a year of almost no business, many bar managers are perfectly willing to play by the rules and celebrate within the lines. The manager here at Lizzie McNeill's said they weren't really sure how much interest there would be in celebrating St. Patrick's Day. But by Tuesday, she said they'd received so many calls asking if they were going to be open, they had to pull in these bike barriers at the very last minute. So they are preparing for a crowd here tomorrow.