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Minnesotans don green and celebrate St. Patrick a little early

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People across the state donned green and headed out to celebrate St. Patrick's Day a few days early.

Communities held annual parades, festivals and events in honor of Ireland's patron saint, with more celebrations planned for the coming days.

One of the biggest parties was in St. Paul, which was recently ranked the 10th best place in the United States to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

An estimated 50,000 people took over West 7th Street near the Xcel Energy Center Saturday for the city's second annual Luckypalooza event, Adam Johnson, of Visit St. Paul, told BringMeTheNews Sunday, noting no one was arrested in what he called "the best LuckyPalooza so far." 

Two blocks of the street were blocked off for the party where people could eat, drink and dance in the record-breaking warm weather.

Celebrations continue in the state's capital through the week (see a list of events here), including the city's annual St. Patrick's Day parade at noon Thursday.

Minneapolis, which was ranked No. 20 on WalletHub's list of best places to celebrate St. Patrick, is holding it's parade on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. For more information on that click here.

Looking for a place to celebrate this week? The Pioneer Press put together a list of its favorite Irish pubs, and Explore Minnesota has a guide to a bunch of upcoming St. Patrick's Day events.

Did you know?

What's a holiday without a little trivia? Here are some facts about the Irish in Minnesota and the United States:

Roughly 33.1 million Americans – that's 10.4 percent of the population – claimed Irish ancestry in 2014, the Census Bureau says. (That's more than seven times the population of Ireland.)

In Minnesota, roughly 566,000 people claim Irish ancestry, the Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey shows, with roughly 389,738 people in the Twin Cities claiming Irish ancestry.

KilKenny, Minnesota, which has a population of 416, is the town with the most Irish heritage – 47 percent claim Irish ancestry, WCCO said. Kilkenny, located in LeSueur County, was settled in the 1850s by Irish immigrants. The town is named after the city (and county) in Ireland, which is its sister city.

Minnesota has several other towns named after Ireland. Clover Township in Clearwater County is among several Clover-named places in the United States. Shamrock Township in Aitkin County is one of six places in the country with that name, the Census Bureau notes.

Source: WalletHub

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