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I’m not Irish. But as it’s often said, “Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.”

No doubt, there will be plenty of families and friends from the Abingtons this Saturday, March 9, at the big Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade, beginning at 11:45 a.m., especially when it’s time to cheer for the Abington Heights Marching Comets.

On St. Patrick’s Day itself, local families can get an Irish ham and cabbage dinner at VFW Post 7069, 402 Winola Road in Clarks Summit. Sponsored by the post auxiliary, the dinner is scheduled for March 17 from 3-7 p.m. or until food is sold out. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Takeouts will be available. A bag piper will perform at 5 p.m.

In addition to finding their favorite local St. Patrick’s Day celebration, families can continue their holiday fun at home with special foods and crafts.

Green food coloring goes a long way with kids. Just a few drops can make any food or drink more appetizing for the holiday. Families can have fun creating green pancakes, green ginger ale or green ice cream for the little ones.

Green-candied popcorn

Here is a cute recipe for green-candied popcorn that I found on

4 quarts popped corn

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

green food coloring

In heavy saucepan on medium heat, melt butter then add sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar and salt. Increase temperature to medium high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar.

Once mixture boils, add in food coloring and stop stirring. Boil for 5 minutes. (Do not stir.) Mixture should be about 250-260 degrees. Remove from heat and carefully stir in vanilla and baking soda.

Working quickly, and while mixture is foamy, pour mixture over popped corn and gently stir to coat popcorn.

Place popcorn into a large roaster or rimmed baking sheet (lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray) and bake at 200 degrees for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Shamrock pretzels

This recipe for shamrock pretzels by Elizabeth LaBau comes from Use as candy or as toppers for St. Patrick’s Day cakes or cupcakes:

12 ounces green candy coating

90 mini twist pretzels (3 to 4 cups)

Microwave green candy coating in 30-second increments, stirring well after every 30 seconds, until the coating is melted and smooth.

Cover several baking sheets with waxed paper or parchment paper. Dunk a pretzel in the melted coating until it’s completely covered. Take it out using a fork or dipping tools, and let the excess drip back into the bowl for a few minutes.

Place the pretzel on the baking sheet. Repeat with a second pretzel, positioning it so that the bottom of the second pretzel touches the bottom of the first. Repeat again, placing the pretzel at the top of the other two to form a shamrock shape. Break a pretzel twist in pieces for stems.

Repeat with the remaining pretzels and coating, until you’ve made 24 shamrock shapes. Refrigerate the trays to set the shamrocks, for about 15 minutes. When set, use a paring knife to trim away any stray coating from the edges of the shamrocks. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Teri Lyon is a mom, grandmom and freelance writer who lives in Glenburn Township with her cat.