With an estimated 122 million Americans planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this March 17, there will be no shortage of parties or celebrations. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 St. Patrick’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGresearch, 52.4 percent of Americans will celebrate the Irish holiday, up from 45.2 percent last year and the most in the survey’s eight-year history. “Eager to shake off the winter blues, consumers will look to St. Patrick’s Day as their first spring-related celebration, meaning great things for the economy, retailers and restaurants,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “As a non-gift giving holiday, retailers will need to make sure they have the best assortment of merchandise, aiming to attract celebrants looking for decorations, holiday food, and even apparel.”
Fans of the holiday will celebrate in more ways than one, with the most popular form being wearing green apparel. Nearly 102 million people (83.3 percent) will wear green for the holiday. In recent years, restaurants and bars have also upped the holiday spirit as well, hosting parties and serving green beverages. Thirty-eight million Americans (31.2 percent) will attend a party at a bar or restaurant, also the highest in the survey’s history. Additionally, 41 million (33.9 percent) will make a special dinner, 31 million people (25.1 percent) will decorate their home or office and 23 million (19.1 percent) will attend a private party.