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The greening of Chicago River, St. Patrick's Day, 2005, Michigan Ave. bridge, downtown Chicago.

The dyeing of the Chicago River green is a 50-year-old tradition (this year) held annually on St. Patrick's Day celebration, usually witnessed by hundreds of people (as you can see in the picture). This year, there was a lovely twist in the greening of the river. The City of Chicago put up the honor of tossing the green dye to the river for auction on eBay (as part of its "Great Chicago Fire Sale" fundraising effort)! A local bank won the honor for $7,600 (forgot the exact name of the bank).

Chicago's sale is unique because the money is being directed back to specific city programs, and the city is not only contributing some of the items but also encouraging residents to donate items for sale. roceeds from the "Great Chicago Fire Sale" (a reference to the city's worst calamity, 1871) will benefit some of the city's cultural programs, which are increasingly strained by a reduced budget. The items that bidders vied for included an architectural drawing of the Millennium Park band shell, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, signed by Frank Gehry, who designed it; an original 1960's Playboy Bunny outfit (one fetched $14,340 last year at Christie's); a painting by Ed Paschke; dinner and hotel packages; and pieces of Chicago memorabilia, including an original Chicago Theater sign and an official resolution, passed in 1997, absolving Mrs. O'Leary's cow from starting the fire of 1871.

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Additional Photos by Ken Ilio (flip89) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 537 W: 173 N: 576] (3418)
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