May 29, 2018

Top Midwest Cities For Celebrating Memorial Day

Most of our customers know our technology for predicting how well a brick and mortar location would do in a given area, or for tracking social changes over time for transportation design. As important as these two things are to the fabric of our city, it is also interesting to see how social connections and social patterns play themselves out. One of the best ways to understand the patterns of a society is by studying the things they choose to celebrate. Although it seems trivial, much can be learned from understanding the where, how, and why of human connection. This can highlight engagement of a community and the inter-community flow of ideas. Both are critical in city design and have even been used as accurate analogs to GDP.

Yesterday morning I was curious which midwestern cities were indicating engagement in memorial day celebrations. Using Ted Serbinski’s Diamond in the Midwest article as a guide I picked six midwestern cities to research. The cities were:







I ran the calculation by combining social media mentions of memorial day activity for the top three neighborhoods. This was done on a volume basis vs. a location quotient so more populated cities had a slight advantage.

For comparison, I also ranked the top neighborhoods for each city. It was interesting to see the distribution of social activity, for some cities it was very equal (like Cincinnati) for others there was a dense cluster of social activity and relatively light elsewhere (like Cleveland).

While doing research, it was also clear that the way folks in different cities talked about celebrating was unique to them. Results below.


#1 Chicago


What Chicagoans are most likely to talk about:

More so than any city these people talked most about memorial day weekend rather than memorial day itself. There were lots of mentions of grilling, but relative to the other cities very few mentions for BBQ.

Overall Neighborhood Ranking:

2. Near North

3. Lake View

4. Wrigleyville


#2 Cleveland


What Clevelanders are most likely to talk about:

Cleveland coming out strong with the number one individual neighborhood for memorial day type mentions. They are the most likely out of the bunch to talk about cookouts and BBQ.

Overall Neighborhood Ranking:

1. Downtown

10. South Broadway

18. Industrial valley


#3 Detroit


What Detroitians are most likely to talk about:

Detroit mentions kabobs as a way to celebrate memorial day more than any other city. They are also most likely to talk about how they are preparing the food (ie: with charcoal).

Overall Neighborhood Ranking:

7. Downtown

11. Petosky - Otsego

14. Millennium Village


#4 Cincinnati


What Cincinnatians are most likely to talk about:

Memorial day showed up strong across the east end of Cincinnati (sorry west enders). Cincinnati talked about memorial day on memorial day the most and made heavy use of BBQ.

Overall Neighborhood Ranking:

6. East End

9. Mt Washington

13. Central Business District


#5 Indianapolis


What Hoosiers are most likely to talk about:

Hoosiers more so than any midwesterner were likely to talk about having cookouts.

Overall Neighborhood Ranking:

8. Downtown

12. Park 100

15. Broad Ripple


#6 Pittsburgh


What Pittsburghers are most likely to talk about:

Pittsburghers were pretty straightforward in their love for BBQ and grilling over the weekend and weren’t showing much activity besides the two.

Overall Neighborhood Ranking:

5. Homewood West

16. Central Business District

17. Strip District


Get the latest from in your inbox
A weekly summary of news, product updates, and special offers.