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Chicago River Turns Bright Blue To Celebrate The Cubs

By  Heather Cherone and Kelly Bauer | November 4, 2016 7:48am | Updated on November 4, 2016 11:51am

 The Chicago River was dyed Cubbie blue Friday.
The Chicago River was dyed Cubbie blue Friday.
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DNAinfo/Kelly Bauer

DOWNTOWN — The Chicago River joined the celebration of the world champion Chicago Cubs, turning bright blue in joy.

Crews began dyeing the river blue just after 7 a.m. Friday as crowds began to gather Downtown celebrate the Cubs first World Series victory in 108 years.

— Kelly Bauer (@BauerJournalism) November 4, 2016

The same firm, owned by the Butler and Rowan family, that has dyed the river green every St. Patrick's Day for more than 50 years, is handling the color-change operation.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday he wanted to dye the river in celebration, but he faced opposition from conservationists who objected to the plan for fear that it would hurt wildlife in the river and set back efforts to restore its natural ecosystem.

Check Out the LIve Blog From the Rally and Parade Here.

Friends of the Chicago River advocated against the river being dyed Thursday when plans were still considered tentative.

"We are thrilled for the Cubs and for all the people who live here and share in the joy of this wonderful winning team,' Margaret Frisbie, executive director of Friends of the Chicago River, said in a statement on the group's website. “However, we hope this is a rumor of idle fun and speculation rather than an actual plan. 

"The Chicago River downtown and elsewhere is alive with fish and other life including beavers, muskrats, and birds, like the state endangered black crowned night heron that I saw on the riverbank at LaSalle Street less than two weeks ago,” Frisbie continued. “I know that the mayor is a real river champion and I am sure he will do what is right for the river.”

No permits are required to dye the river, as long as crews use a natural food dye, like the one used on St. Patrick Day, officials said.

The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by an entity controlled by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.

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