This story appears in the March issue of VICE magazine. Click HERE to subscribe.
It's March here in Chicago, Illinois, which means it's almost time for our world-famous St. Patrick's Day Parade. The parade begins at noon, just after we dye the Chicago River green using a top-secret formula (it's green dye). On average, more than 1 million spectators will watch the event, including countless bros who will spend the rest of the early afternoon getting blackout drunk while wearing shorts in 35-degree weather. But by far the thing that makes Chicagoans most proud of our St. Patrick's Day Parade is the fact that it was featured in the 1993 film The Fugitive.
A touchstone of the American filmic tradition, The Fugitive tells the story of Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford), a man wrongly accused of his wife's murder and pursued by a US marshal played by Tommy Lee Jones. It was a critical and commercial success, got nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, and features a cameo from the janitor on Scrubs before he was famous for being the janitor on Scrubs. Jones won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. It's his only Academy Award, and, not coincidentally, The Fugitive is the only movie where he walks through the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Our parade is filled with diverse sights and sounds that will add interest to your movie and also eat up a couple of minutes of screen time: You got your people in kilts playing bagpipes. You got your dancing children with extremely crunchy, curly hair. You got your floats, your marching bands, and your middle-aged men with green pageboy hats walking in loose clumps.
In The Fugitive, Harrison Ford escapes the police by ducking into the parade and disguises himself as one of the marchers, which works because all white men look alike. It's a perfect plot device, and we cordially invite you to include the parade in your big-time Hollywood movie. And please, don't wait for our permission to start filming! Things are crazy here on St. Patrick's Day! Show up with Mark Ruffalo and 20 camera guys, and I promise you we will not notice.
To make it as easy for you as possible, we've come up with suggestions for incorporating the world-famous Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade into your movie:
A dashing history professor and beautiful French art historian are attempting to solve a series of riddles hidden in famous monuments around the world. Their search takes them to Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, along the parade route. "Oh wow," says the history professor. "We really lucked out that we ended up here on the same day as the world-famous Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade."
Roughly 17 diverse small-time criminals and former cops are racing cars for fun and to take down an evil global conglomerate. They are speeding through Chicago when the parade holds them up. Since they love traditional Irish dance, they decide they might as well get out and watch for a few minutes.
A supergroup of magicians performs an illusion where they make the VIP spectator bleachers disappear.
Office St. Patrick's Day Parade: It's like that movie Office Christmas Party, but instead of everyone having to throw a crazy Christmas party, they have to organize the world-famous Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Paul Rudd and James Franco star in a movie about two hot stay-at-home dads. James Franco asks Paul Rudd to help him re-stain his deck, and Paul Rudd lies and says he has to play bass drum in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. James Franco says he'll attend the parade to support his friend, so Paul Rudd has to quickly acquire and learn to play a bass drum.
Sully 2: Sully lands a plane directly in front of the parade.
A shot-for-shot remake of The Fugitive scene in a female reboot of The Fugitive starring Mindy Kaling and Felicity Jones. It's 2017! It's time!!
The possibilities are endless, and we look forward to seeing how you incorporate our parade into your film. Please DO NOT include any jokes about why, if we can dye the river green on St. Patrick's Day, we can't dye it blue the rest of the year. Rivers aren't normally that blue, and also, it hurts our feelings.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
—The Chicago Department of Transportation