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You’ll be able to swim in the Chicago River this September

It will be the first time in almost 100 years that folks will get to actually jump into the Chicago River.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

On September 22, the city will host a massive open-water swim event in the Chicago River—the first of its kind in almost 100 years despite the fact that the body of water had been approved as "safe for swimming" 13 years ago.

Aptly dubbed Chicago River Swim, the inaugural event is currently open for registration. Only 500 folks will be allowed to partake in the fun—each one required to show proof of previous open water swim participation—so sign up as soon as possible right here if interested in joining.

You can apply for a one-mile or two-mile swim. Either way, you will have to wear a swim cap, inflatable buoys and timing chips, so make sure to have all your gear ready by then.

The event will kick off at Dearborn and Clark Street bridges and then loop between Street Street and Wolf Point.

Needless to say, there will be ton of security in place: from emergency responders to lifeguards and on-site kayakers. The main stem of the river will be closed to all boat-related traffic as well. 

In addition to promoting the River as a swimming destination, the happening will function as a fundraiser for ALS research at Northwestern University.

“The changes in the Chicago River over the past decades are nothing short of incredible,” said Doug McConnell, founder of A Long Swim, the nonprofit behind the event, in an official statement. “What was once unimaginable is now possible. We are committed to conducting a safe event, backed by the latest in water quality technology and a thorough safety plan.”

Here's to hoping that the Chicago River will soon become our go-to swimming destination. It's about time, after all.

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