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Today is December 3, 2021

Celebrate Halloween with new traditions, events

By Susan Collins-Smith

Celebrate Halloween with new traditions, events

Halloween is fun for people of all ages, but rising numbers of COVID-19 cases may put a damper on traditional celebrations again this year.

But don’t get spooked. Instead, try out some new ways to celebrate and enjoy the holiday.

David Buys, Mississippi State University Extension Service health specialist, recommends families choose several activities to do throughout the days leading up to Halloween.

“Think about Halloween as a short season and not necessarily a single day,” he said. “Create new traditions with your family over the weekends of October that lead up to and include Halloween.”

Natasha Haynes, family, and consumer science extension agent in Rankin County and host of the “Food Factor,” said families who enjoy cooking can whip up some Halloween treats together.

“Cooking is fun for many families, and it’s a great way to spend time together,” Haynes said. “You can find all kinds of Halloween-themed recipes with a quick search of the Internet. You can keep it simple or get really creative.”

 

HALLOWEEN PARTY POPCORN MIX

Ingredients:

  • 16 cups air-popped popcorn, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup candy corn
  • 1/2 cup orange, brown and yellow candy pieces filled with peanut butter

Wash hands with soap and water.

Add about 1/4 of the popcorn to a large bowl. Sprinkle about 1/4 of the candy on top of popcorn. Repeat layering of ingredients since mixing causes candy to fall to bottom of bowl.

Serve with a scoop from a large bowl or fill a self-closing plastic bag with 2 cups of mixture for each person to enjoy.

• 1/2 cup of unpopped kernels equals 16 cups of popped popcorn.

• Prepare popcorn in a microwave according to package directions or on top of the stove.

• Add raisins, other dried fruit, nuts, gummy worms, or other orange and black candies.

Makes about 8 servings

Adapted from Alice Henneman, MS, RDN. “Healthy Halloween Party Foods with Popcorn.”

 

 

Look for low-cost, safely distanced activities including the following:

• Visit one or more pumpkin patches during October. Mississippi has a booming agritourism sector. Find a list of registered agritourism venues around the state along with a description of their operations on the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce website at https://www.mdac. ms.gov/agency-info/programs/mississippi-agritourism/ registered-venues/.

• Decorate your front porch and yard for Halloween and fall.

• Plan a Halloween movie marathon and pop some kettle corn. Let each family member choose a favorite movie for the lineup.

• Build a family bonfire, roast hot dogs, and tell your favorite ghost stories.

• Host a virtual pumpkin carving contest or costume contest with family and friends.

• Plan a scavenger hunt around town with your family. Search for Halloween or fall-themed items on foot or by vehicle. Make it a contest.

• Organize a drive-by trick-or-treat parade. Enlist neighbors, friends and family to drive through your neighborhood with prepacked, individual goody bags of treats to throw to children in their yards.

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