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It's Easy Spending Green on St. Patrick's Day

A reported 13 million pints of Guinness beer will be consumed today. 

| BY Donald Liebenson

St. Patrick’s Day is not nearly as big a shopping day as other holidays. The National Retail Federation projects American consumers to spend $4.6 billion today. In contrast, Americans spend upward of $600 billion over the winter holidays. Easter spending last year reached roughly $16 billion.

But St. Patrick’s Day has significance to retailers beyond a celebration of Irish heritage. It is the first shopping holiday of Spring and coincides with warmer weather, allowing consumers to shake off any lingering cabin fever. Americans will spend an average of just over $36 per person, according to the NRF. 

St. Patrick's Day spending is actually expected to be down 3 percent this year, but that will not dampen the enthusiasm of participants. It's easy just wearing green, which is how eight-in-ten are expected to mark the day. 

On a more festive note, a reported 13 million pints of Guinness beer will be consumed today, according to U.S. News & World Report. Thirty-seven million are expected to celebrate at a bar or restaurant, while an equal number are planning their own special St. Patrick’s Day dinners.

St. Patrick’s Day marks the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland, and through the years has evolved into a worldwide celebration of Irish culture. There are 33.3 million in the U.S. with Irish heritage, but as the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley once observed, on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish.

Boston staged the first St. Patrick’s Day, which stepped off in 1737. Today, cities across the country either stage their own parades or dye their rivers or fountains green. Roughly 29 million plan to decorate their homes for today.

Not surprisingly, young adults are driving (designated, we trust) St. Patrick’s Day festivities. This demographic has the highest percentage of people who will go to a bar (42.2 percent) and decorate their homes (24.7 percent). They are also expected to spend the most per person ($41.69 percent).

About the Author

Donald Liebenson

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.