7 Ways Americans Spend Insane Amounts of Money for St. Patrick’s Day
Lifestyle| | By Steven Lerner
March 17 is a day known for people wearing green — probably because you are spending lots of green. Believe it or not, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most expensive holidays of the year. For Irish-Americans, it’s a day of heritage and pride, but it can also be very costly. Here are 7 insane examples of St. Patrick’s Day spending:
1. $5.3 Billion of St. Patrick’s Day Spending in the U.S.
If you thought that 2014’s record of $4.8 billion worth of St. Patrick’s Day spending was enough, get ready for 2017. A recent National Retail Federation Study predicts that Americans will shatter that record by spending upwards of $5.3 billion on St. Patrick’s Day 2017. Experts say that having the holiday fall on a Friday this year might be a contributing factor behind the spending increase.
2. $39 Billion on Guinness
Americans love their Guinness. For some Americans, it’s the closest thing they will have to getting authentic Irish beer. But love of Guinness goes beyond the U.S. and especially on St. Patrick’s Day when 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed — enough to fill 60 percent of the Empire State Building. People normally consumer less than half of that on an average day. Assuming that the average pint of Guinness costs $3 — which is a very conservative estimate — then people, including in the U.S. will spend over $39 billion on the popular black stout on March 17.
3. $42.60 From Each Young Person
If there is one generation that goes all-in for St. Patrick’s Day, it is millennials. Between green clothing, food and drinks — young people prioritize St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. In fact, Americans between the ages of 25 to 34 will spend an average of $42.60 on St. Patrick’s Day — more than any other age group. It might not sound like much, but young people could have used that money to help pay off their crippling student debt. Well, it’s good for the economy at least.
4. $6,000 to Dye the Chicago River Green
The city of Chicago commemorates St. Patrick’s Day by dying their river green. It is a time-honored tradition that some people like and others may be indifferent about. But the cost of that temporary dye job has never really been examined — until now. It has been previously reported that between the materials and labor, it costs Chicago roughly $133 per minute to dye the river green. In addition, some blogs claim that it supposedly takes about 45 minutes to do this each year. If you do that math, you get to $5,985 spent each year for this very brief tradition.
5. $31.92 Million on Cards
It might not be the most typical form of St. Patrick’s Day spending, but greeting cards are a staple for some on March 17. Hallmark sells roughly 8 million St. Patrick’s Day cards every year. With the typical Hallmark card costing about $3.99 to purchase, you get just under $32 million spent every year for St. Patrick’s Day cards. As of result of this holiday, Hallmark is surely making a lot of money.
6. $208 Billion on Corned Beef
For many people, corned beef — and its less popular sibling, cabbage — are part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States. People living in Ireland do not traditionally consume this dish. However, it’s customary for Irish-Americans to eat it on St. Patrick’s Day. A 2009 estimate said that people purchase 26.1 billion pounds of corned beef every year. If you assume that it costs roughly $8 at retail price for each pound, that’s $208.8 billion spent on corned beef every year — including a fair amount of that spent on St. Patrick’s Day. Keep mind that Americans also spend on 2.3 billion pounds of cabbage.
7. $530,000 for the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade
It is the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the entire nation. Over 2 million people watch the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade every year. And while the parade looks magnificent as it marches down 5th Avenue and it brings plenty of tourist revenue into the city, the price tag for a recent year was $530,000. This includes a $9,000 green line painted down 5th Avenue.