The whole nation is 'green' with envy: Boston's top spot for St. Patty's Day

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With St. Patrick's Day around the corner and at least $6.85 billion expected to be spent for the holiday this year, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2023's Best Cities for St. Patrick's Day Celebrations as well as expert commentary.

To determine the best cities for celebrating Irish-American heritage, WalletHub compared 200 of the largest U.S. cities across 15 key metrics, ranging from Irish pubs and restaurants per capita to the lowest price for a three-star hotel on St. Patrick's Day to the weather forecast.

Top 20 Cities for St. Patrick's Day
1. Boston, MA 11. Henderson, NV
2. Philadelphia, PA 12. Worcester, MA
3. Chicago, IL 13. Fresno, CA
4. Pittsburgh, PA 14. San Francisco, CA
5. New York, NY 15. Tampa, FL
6. Reno, NV 16. Syracuse, NY
7. Santa Rosa, CA 17. Cedar Rapids, IA
8. Naperville, IL 18. Orange, CA
9. Buffalo, NY 19. Dayton, OH
10. Boise, ID 20. Milwaukee, WI

To view the full report and your city's rank, please visit:

St. Patrick's Day Facts

  • 174%: Increase in beer sales on St. Patrick's Day compared to the rest of the year (153% more spirits are sold compared with the average day).
  • $1.84 Million: Market value of a leprechaun's pot of gold.
  • $6.85 Billion: Amount that will be spent collectively on St. Patrick's Day 2023 ($44 per person celebrating).
  • 31.5 Million: Number of Americans who claim Irish ancestry, second only to German and 6.4 times Ireland's population.
  • 37: Number of people killed in drunk-driving crashes over St. Patrick's Day holiday in 2020, with one life claimed every 58 minutes.

For the full report, please visit:

Expert Commentary

How can local authorities promote safety and reduce alcohol-related accidents on St. Patrick's Day?

"The only measure I can imagine having the desired effect would be to set up drunk driving checkpoints throughout the areas of celebration and broadcast in advance their omnipresence. More than discouraging driving to alcohol-fueled festivities, the authorities would need to deter the activity by the near-guarantee of arrest and sanction."
Joseph Valente - UB Distinguished Professor, University at Buffalo

"Many cities offer free rides through their police departments or in collaboration with Uber/Lyft. They strongly encourage 'designated drivers' and promote bars and restaurants to be more vigilant in enforcing limitations on serving inebriated clients. And they can work with groups to have volunteers along parade routes and gathering places to help encourage safe, sane, and sober celebrations."
John J. McGlennon - Professor, College of William & Mary

Why is St. Patrick's Day so popular in the United States?

"With some 32 million Americans - nearly 10 percent of the population - identifying as being Irish in a 2020 U.S. Census Bureau survey, there is a strong incentive to celebrate the ancestry and heritage of so many people. St. Patrick's Day has traditionally provided the occasion for both celebration and contemplation. It is certainly a time to cheer but it is also a chance to look back and consider a relatively small place that has been so important to the development and history of the U.S. Many Americans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries considered themselves 'exiled children' from Ireland, and that sense created an enduring bond."
Robert Schmuhl - Professor Emeritus; Chair in American Studies and Journalism, University of Notre Dame

"St. Patrick's Day is popular in the US for several reasons. First, Americans of Irish descent often have a positive sense of their ethnic identity and celebrate it on St. Patrick's Day. Even Americans who do not have Irish descent have very positive images of Ireland and the contributions of Americans of Irish descent. In recent decades St. Patrick's Day has become a reason for many to have a party. Coming between Valentine's Day and Easter it has become a time to celebrate with friends and family in mid-March."
Timothy J. White - Professor, Xavier University

What are some social and economic considerations for cities looking to host St. Patrick's Day celebrations?

"Unfortunately, St. Patrick's Day has often been associated with binge drinking, and this is a major concern, both from a public safety perspective and the costs of cleanup after parades and the effects of too much booze. Communities have to recognize that other ethnic/nationality/identity groups may want similar recognition of their heritage or place in society, meaning the need to provide police, sanitation, medical and other services. But cities factor these costs into their calculations of how much their businesses may benefit and how much tax revenue they will generate."
John J. McGlennon - Professor, College of William & Mary

"For cities that host St. Patrick's Day events, they need to plan events that meet the social expectations of their citizens. This day provides an opportunity for all Americans to support the historic US commitment to peace in Ireland, especially in Northern Ireland. The day also allows all Americans the opportunity to celebrate the contribution of Americans of Irish ancestry. Efforts to offer more responsible celebrations on St. Patrick's Day could focus on family-friendly events."
Timothy J. White - Professor, Xavier University

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