Monday, March 16, 2009

Consumers Saving Some Green But Still Celebrating It This St. Patrick's Day

/PRNewswire/ -- Over 44 percent of Americans will celebrate St. Patrick's Day, recognized this year on Tuesday, March 17. And while spending is expected to hover around $3.3 billion, a drop from years past, consumers are still making sure to enjoy themselves. Trend experts at American Greetings Corp (NYSE:AM) have found that the holiday is commemorated today with more variety than ever before, making it easier, and more affordable, for everyone to celebrate their Irish heritage (even if only "borrowed" for the day.)

While spending the day on the town is synonymous with March 17 other activities, especially those that are more family-friendly, are becoming more commonplace.

Parades have been a cornerstone of St. Patrick's Day, dating back to the holiday's origins in the United States in 1737. This year, millions of consumers will take in a St. Patrick's Day parade, with the largest being held in Savannah, GA where an estimated 750,000 onlookers attended in 2006. Many cities host their own parades, including major events held in New York and Boston.

Along with parades, another popular celebratory activity is enjoying some "authentic" Irish cuisine. This year, nearly 30 percent of all consumers will be dining out to commemorate the holiday, and more than 33 percent will be making a special meal at home. Whether enjoying an over-stuffed Reuben sandwich, piping hot potato soup or filling a large appetite with Sheppard's Pie, no St. Patrick's Day would be complete without a taste of the foods that go so well with any green beverage.

Getting out to a parade or to have an authentic Irish meal are always fun, but unfortunately all celebrants this year won't have the time to get away. Be it work, school or other responsibilities, many this St. Patrick's Day will not be celebrating in grand style, but that doesn't mean they won't be celebrating. From decorations to the traditional "wearing of the green," consumers still embrace all things St. Patrick's Day. In fact, this year, nearly 22 percent of consumers will be setting up St. Patrick's Day decor at their home or office, and an astounding 82 percent will be wearing at least a little green to get in the spirit.

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