St Patrick's Day is an Irish national holiday that resonates around the world, with events and celebrations taking place all over the globe. If you're wondering where to go to wet the shamrock in the US, a recently-conducted study might help.

The Chicago River dyed green on St Patrick's Day
The Chicago River is traditionally dyed green on St Patrick's Day © berni0004/Shutterstock

More than 32 million people in the US claim Irish ancestry, and as this population expanded over the centuries, so too did American traditions around St Patrick's Day. Chicago has become famous for dyeing its river green, and it came first in personal finance website Wallethub's report, 2020's Best Cities for St Patrick's Day Celebrations. This determined the best cities for celebrating Irish-American heritage, by comparing 200 of the largest US cities across 17 different factors, including the number of Irish pubs and restaurants based on population, the lowest price for a three-star hotel on St Patrick’s Day and weather forecast.

 Inside a music bar on Sixth Street in Austin during St Patrick's Day.
Inside a music bar on Sixth Street in Austin during St Patrick's Day © Rolf_52/Shutterstock

Chicago also came in first place for the most St Patrick's Day parties and festivals per capita, second after New York for most Irish pubs and restaurants, and third behind Milwaukee and Rochford for average beer price. Naperville had the biggest percentage of Irish people living there. The top ten cities overall saw Boston coming in second place, Philadelphia in third, Pittsburgh in fourth place and Tampa in fifth.

Rounding up the top ten, Naperville came in sixth position, New York came seventh, Buffalo came eighth. Cleveland was in ninth place and Cedar Rapids came tenth. According to Wallethub, Americans are projected to spend $6.16bn (€5.53bn) on the holiday this year. "Believe it or not, the first ever St. Patrick’s Day parade didn’t take place in Ireland," it says. "Its roots are actually in the US, though some say Boston while others claim New York. Regardless, what began as a Catholic feast day and gained more recognition with a parade in the 18th century is today one of America’s biggest cultural holidays."

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