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Americans will be seeing and spending a lot of green for St. Patrick’s Day this year! How much exactly? Oh, just a record $5.9 billion.

In the annual survey conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics, Americans are expected to spend a lot this St. Patrick’s Day — $5.9 billion to be exact. The previous record was last year’s $5.3 billion.

It’s been estimated that over 149 million U.S. adults celebrate the March 17 holiday, with each person spending an average of $39.65. And, surprise, surprise, the Irish holiday is the most popular among 18-24 year olds.

“With winter hopefully winding down over the next few weeks, consumers are ready to start celebrating spring with St. Patrick’s Day,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay in a press release. “The holiday falls on a Saturday this year so Americans will have more time to splurge a little as they get together with friends and loved ones for a day of festivities.”

Unlike other gift-giving holidays, St. Patrick’s Day is more about having fun with friends and family. And drinking. Lots of drinking.

“… we expect consumers will enjoy their favorite green beverage and apparel, attend events around their community, and decorate their homes with lucky four-leaf clovers,” said Phil Rist, Prosper’s executive vice president of strategy.

The survey found that about 50 percent will be spent on food, 41 percent on drinks, 31 percent on apparel or accessories, 26 percent on decorations, and 16 percent on candy.

What do you think? Is the record $5.9 billion a bit excessive? Share your thoughts with us in the comments, and don’t forget to tell us how you plan on spending St. Patrick’s Day this year!

Happy St. Paddy’s Day, lads and lassies!

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