Local businesses benefit from money spent on St. Patrick’s Day

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NORFOLK, Va. - Everyone is Irish this weekend and the celebration continues until Sunday for many.

The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend more money than ever before this St. Patrick's Day.

Grace O'Malley's Manager Eve Walker said, “This has been the craziest day that I have ever experienced working here.”

The party started at 11 a.m. at places like Grace O’Malley’s in Downtown Norfolk.

“Lots of corn beef and cabbage lots of fish and chips,” said Walker.

News 3 even ran into the Former Mayor Paul Fraim out celebrating.

“It is St. Patrick's Day and I'm Irish so we're going to go here O’Malley and have a beer,” said Fraim.

With St. Patrick’s day falling on a Friday, the National Retail Federation says more people are spending money.

They estimate about 5.3 billion dollars in total and report that average person will spend about $38.

“Now that winter is almost behind us and with St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday, we will see more Americans getting together to celebrate with friends and family,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers should expect a nice boost in sales as consumers purchase apparel, decorations, food and beverages to help make their celebrations special.”

O'Connor's Brewing Company

Eve Walker is originally from Ireland and said the U.S. celebrates a little different over here.

The survey states that 139 million people will celebrate the holiday this year.

The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-24 years old, with 77 percent celebrating, but those 25-34 will be the biggest spenders at an average $46.55, according to NRF.

According to the survey, 83 percent of celebrants will wear green to show their Irish pride, 31 percent plan to make a special dinner and 27 percent will head to a party at a bar or restaurant.

Twenty-three percent will decorate their homes or offices in an Irish theme and 15 percent will attend a private party.

In addition, 15 percent are planning to attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade, especially those living in the Northeast (21 percent).

St. Patrick’s Day is a time for consumers of all ages to have fun and celebrate all things Irish whether it is attending a parade, cooking an Irish meal, or meeting friends at a bar or restaurant,” Prosper Insights Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “While more Americans are planning to celebrate the shamrock-filled day, expect Millennials to take the lead among the festivities.”

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