Depending on where they live, Americans will face different levels of COVID-19 restrictions on Easter Sunday. Even if they are not forced to by law, many people may choose to forgo big family get-togethers, as the U.S. is making progress with vaccination but still needs months for a full rollout.
Easter is typically a big consumer holiday that rakes in billions and gives Americans toothaches. Regardless of whether people plan to celebrate in groups or not this year, grocery stores will still offer an abundance of seasonal foods like chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps, as well as extra eggs for people who want to dye them.
For Christians, however, Easter is less of a commercial event than a holy experience. It not only marks the end of Lent — a 40-day period of fasting, reflection, prayer and repentance followed directly by Easter Sunday — but it also celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and represents the “new covenant” between God and humanity. In observance of the holiday, many families will attend services, either in person or via the livestreams that many churches have adopted during the pandemic.
But some Americans will feel the Easter spirit more than others, depending on where they live. To identify those areas, WalletHub compared the 100 largest cities based on 13 metrics that speak to an ideal Easter celebration. Our metrics range from candy and chocolate stores per capita to the city’s Christian population.
Make sure to also check out WalletHub’s Easter Facts & Stats – Church, Candy & Cash infographic for fun facts about the holiday.
Best Places to Celebrate Easter
|4||New Orleans, LA||63.94||9||16||38||18||48|
|6||Kansas City, MO||63.41||11||25||63||23||15|
|7||St. Louis, MO||63.23||36||6||3||89||35|
|14||St. Paul, MN||60.73||56||5||42||30||2|
|21||San Jose, CA||58.44||15||79||24||67||55|
|24||San Francisco, CA||58.12||16||81||15||100||35|
|27||Colorado Springs, CO||57.99||31||75||49||47||3|
|29||San Diego, CA||57.59||34||84||13||71||19|
|43||Baton Rouge, LA||55.17||27||18||68||70||93|
|46||Fort Wayne, IN||54.91||42||23||76||40||63|
|48||Las Vegas, NV||53.84||79||70||2||49||13|
|50||Oklahoma City, OK||53.62||82||14||35||13||23|
|57||Long Beach, CA||52.55||73||26||47||73||29|
|58||Chula Vista, CA||52.50||34||89||85||52||23|
|60||Fort Worth, TX||52.38||70||42||44||12||30|
|62||Corpus Christi, TX||52.28||49||21||79||29||89|
|71||Los Angeles, CA||50.39||73||80||12||88||48|
|74||St. Petersburg, FL||49.34||63||74||64||94||35|
|79||San Antonio, TX||47.51||87||58||19||32||84|
|81||Virginia Beach, VA||47.31||77||73||48||16||80|
|86||Santa Ana, CA||46.49||89||52||46||37||35|
|93||North Las Vegas, NV||42.65||79||99||100||5||13|
|94||San Bernardino, CA||42.33||93||82||97||3||44|
|96||El Paso, TX||40.32||100||24||31||11||48|
|98||Jersey City, NJ||37.90||97||34||84||58||97|
|99||New York, NY||37.53||98||78||18||82||99|
Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that city, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.
Ask the Experts
Easter can be an expensive holiday to celebrate. According to the National Retail Federation, the average U.S. consumer will spend roughly $180 on celebration expenses this year. For tips on observing Easter during the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked a panel of experts to weigh in with their thoughts on the following key questions:
- What tips do you have for celebrating Easter on a budget?
- What are some of the big money wasters on Easter?
- Has Easter in America become too commercialized?
- How will COVID-19 vaccination rates impact Easter celebrations?
- What money-saving tips do you have for people planning to travel for the Easter holiday?
Ask the Experts
In order to determine the best cities for celebrating Easter, WalletHub compared the 100 most populated cities across five key dimensions: 1) Safety, 2) Easter Observers, 3) Easter Traditions, 4) Kids’ Easter and 5) Easter Weather.
We evaluated those dimensions using 13 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for celebrating the holiday. For metrics marked with an asterisk (*), we used the square root of the population to calculate the population size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across cities.
We then determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.
Safety – Total Points: 30
- Average COVID-19 Deaths in the Past Week per Capita: Triple Weight (~18.00 Points)
- Average COVID-19 Cases in the Past Week per Capita: Double Weight (~12.00 Points)
Easter Observers – Total Points: 30
- Share of Christian Population: Double Weight (~20.00 Points)
Note: The percentage is based on the ratio between the total adherents of the following U.S. religions —Adventist, Baptist, Catholicism, Communal, Episcopalianism/Anglicanism, European Free-Church, Holiness, Ind. Fundamentalist, Latter-Day Saints, Lutheran, Methodist/Pietist, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Presbyterian-Reformed — and the total population of the city.
- Churches per Capita*: Full Weight (~10.00 Points)
Easter Traditions – Total Points: 20
- Google Search Interest for “Easter Celebration”: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
Note: The metric measures the search interest for “Easter Celebration,” “Easter Sunday,” “Easter Egg Hunt,” “Easter Activities” and “Easter Dinner.”
- Cost of Restaurant Meal: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
- Candy & Chocolate Stores per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
- Flower & Gift Shops per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
- Availability of Highly-Rated Takeout or Delivery Food*: Double Weight (~6.67 Points)
Note: This is a composite metric which includes delivery and take-out restaurant options rated 4 stars or higher.
Kids’ Easter - Total Points: 10
- Share of Children Aged 9 & Younger: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
- Acres of Parkland per Capita: Half Weight (~3.33 Points)
Note: Many of the public Egg Hunt events take place in parks.
Easter Weather - Total Points: 10
- Difference Between Forecasted and Normal Temperatures on Easter: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Note: For this metric, the city was penalized if its forecasted temperature on Easter’s Day is colder than the holiday’s average temperature.
- Forecasted Precipitation for Easter: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, The Association of Religion Data Archives, The Trust for Public Land, Yelp, Google Ads, Numbeo, AccuWeather and The New York Times.