The Best City to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Will Surprise You Big-Time

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Green beer guzzlers, listen up! St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, on Sunday, and a whopping 55% of Americans are planning on celebrating the Irish this year. So where will the best parties be?

You know, the ones with leprechaun hats, green Jell-O shots, and plenty of “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” T-shirts.

Get ready for a shocker: While Boston and New York City continue to duke it out for the title of the place where St. Paddy’s Day originated, it turns out Chicago throws the best celebrations, according to a recent report by personal finance website WalletHub.

To arrive at these conclusions, WalletHub compared 200 U.S. cities, ranking them on 17 metrics, considering things like Irish population size, cost of beer, festivals per capita, and walkability (since no one should drive with a stomach full of beer, tinted or not).

So what makes the Windy City the place to be on St. Patrick’s Day? Chicago scored high for its slew of Irish festivals, and visitors from far and wide flock downtown to witness the city’s most time-honored tradition: dumping 45 pounds of vegetable dye into the Chicago River to turn it shamrock green.

“Representatives from a local plumbers union boat up and down the river on the morning of the city’s parade, pouring dye into the water along the way,”  says Ben Creamer, co-founder and managing broker of the Downtown Apartment Company, in Chicago. “After the river is dyed, the celebration moves to Grant Park for a festive parade with bagpipes, drum corps, and Irish dancers.”

Plus, ordering a pint of Guinness won’t break the bank. Chicago scored much higher for affordability on the beer front than other pricey big cities such as Boston (No. 4) and New York (No. 7).

“If you’ve ever been to Chicago, you know there’s a bar on every corner, and they all turn green for St. Patrick’s day,” Creamer adds. “Every local eatery and tavern participates in some way, with deals on everything from corned beef to green drinks.”

Chicago wasn’t the only city in the Midwest to get high marks from WalletHub. Half of the top 10 were in the region, including Madison, WI (No. 3); Naperville, IL (No. 6); Rockford, IL (No. 9); and Dayton, OH (No. 10).

Here’s the full list:

Best cities for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

  1. Chicago, IL

  2. Philadelphia, PA

  3. Madison, WI

  4. Boston, MA

  5. Tampa, FL

  6. Naperville, IL

  7. New York, NY

  8. Pittsburgh, PA

  9. Rockford, IL

  10. Dayton, OH

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Source: Housing Trends Feed