About a mile from my house is one of my favorite restaurants and bar, Tim Finnegan’s Irish Restaurant and Pub. I usually order their Irish Breakfast. It consists of two Eggs (any style), Bangers, Rasher, Black & White Pudding, Heinz Baked Breakfast Beans, Grilled Tomato, and Soda Bread. It is very filling and will put some meat on your bones.
Tomorrow, will be a big day at Tim’s as it is St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish holiday is also a big deal outside of Ireland and is widely celebrated across the United States and other country’s all over the world. We Americans have embraced St. Patrick’s Day for hundreds of years and it is noted that the first ever St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York City in 1763 by Irish soldiers serving in the British army. More recent research claims the first parade actually occurred in Augustine, Florida, in 1601. By comparison, the first state-sponsored St. Patrick’s Day parade in Ireland only occurred in Dublin in 1931.
Per Niall McCarthy on Forbes.com, in recent years, the celebrations have been criticized for being too widely commercialized and with an estimated 13 million pints of Guinness consumed on March 17th worldwide (enough to fill two and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools), it’s hard to disagree. The following infographic shows some of the key numbers behind the event, particularly in the United States. Chicago actually has three parades and the downtown event kicks off at noon today (Saturday). Chicago’s celebrations are especially notable as they involve the river being dyed green, a tradition that began in 1962. 40 lbs of dye is used every year and it lasts for about five hours.
Mr. McCarthy continues, stating St. Patrick’s Day is still as popular as ever with young Americans and according to the National Retail Federation, 72% of 18-34 year-olds plan to celebrate this year. Across the U.S., total spending is expected to reach $5.6 billion, slightly down on last year’s $5.9 billion. On average, celebrants will spend just over $40. Boston is one of the best places to celebrate and it can still claim the title of the most Irish city in the U.S. with 20.4% of its population reporting Irish ancestry. Given those Irish connections, the city throws a big and impressive parade every year and the South Boston Parade in “Southie” starts on March 17th at 1pm.
The Infographic below was charted using Statista.
Source: McCarthy, Niall, St. Patrick’s Day By The Numbers [Infographic], Forbes, March 12, 2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2019/03/12/st-patricks-day-by-the-numbers-infographic/#4658e8f24764