Raw footage for The 90's election specials. St. Patrick's Day in Chicago. Videomaker Pat Creadon investigates the famous practice of dyeing the Chicago river green, and then speaks briefly with Mayor Daley and marches in the parade.
0:00Copy video clip URL Pat Creadon goes out on the streets of downtown Chicago at 2:30AM the night before the St. Patrick’s Day parade, looking for the trucks that paint the streets.
3:18Copy video clip URL The next morning. A Streets & Sanitation vehicle cleans the gutters. People are beginning to set up for the parade. A fountain has already been dyed green, and the river awaits.
6:22Copy video clip URL Interview with Mike Butler, who is preparing to dye the river green. He explains how the tradition of dyeing the river green began and how they do it today. Despite inquiries from all over the world, the City of Chicago will not reveal the exact contents of the dye. Amazingly, only one canister is used. It is an orange powder which is dumped into the river with flour sifters and then is stirred by the circling boat. Somehow this process turns the orange powder into a green river.
15:25Copy video clip URL Interview with Tom Rowan, another member of the crew that will be dyeing the river green. He repeats the description of the process.
17:46Copy video clip URL Interview with Mark Butler (Mike Butler’s son), a third member of the river dyeing crew. He claims it takes two days of showers to wash all the dye off their bodies (even though they all wear white suits as they do it).
21:15Copy video clip URL The crew takes off in their small boat and motors around before sifting the powder in the river. Creadon shoots it aerially, from a parking complex.
34:33Copy video clip URL A horse tries to bite the camera, and Creadon talks to officers on horseback who are lined up for the start of the parade.
37:13Copy video clip URL Mayor Richard M. Daley talks about the presence of the presidential candidates at the parade. “The Democratic Party today is made up of people who don’t identify with the donkeys or the elephants. They’re much more independent… The Roosevelt era is over in this country, so they identify with an individual.” He lines up for the start of the parade with Carol Moseley Braun, Al Hofeld, and Governor Jim Edgar, with bagpipe music and drums in the background.
53:00Copy video clip URL The parade begins, Creadon tapes people lining the streets as he marches in the parade. There are some visual problems during this segment.
59:53Copy video clip URL The tape cuts back to the three men in the boat, dyeing the river.
01:00:51Copy video clip URL End of tape.