As the temperature drops, many people are preparing for vibrant autumnal colors to once again mark the beautiful Wyoming Valley. While some people dread the start of autumn, others wait with bated breath for this time of year; enthralled by college football, caramel apples, and haunted hayrides. In fact, there are many people who have been waiting impatiently for this season for an entirely different reason.

For some, “the most wonderful time of the year,” is actually upon us right now as the markets and shops are once again being flooded with the scent and flavor of … pumpkin spice! The pumpkin trend has exploded so far beyond the pale of traditional dishes and drinks, of which it was previously confined. It has invaded nearly every corner of the consumer market. Just recently, I have learned about the existence of pumpkin ravioli, special pumpkin chewing gum, and even pumpkin deodorant.

Admittedly, I was never the biggest fan, and I did not particularly enjoy the all-consuming rollout of the flavor, but I have recently come around to the idea. While I originally considered pumpkin to be overrated, once I learned about the immense health benefits of including it in my diet, I have been a more avid consumer of all things pumpkin. It is an excellent source of beta-carotene, which can sharpen your vision, while promoting better eye health. It has a plethora of vitamins that boost immunity, and it contains fiber which aids digestion.

As fall rolls in and we are greeted by pumpkins at seemingly every turn, perhaps this year, consider embracing pumpkins for other reasons besides our traditional spooky jack-o-lanterns.

Octoberfest at St. Barbara’s

A great time is to be had at St. Barbara’s Octoberfest celebration at St. Anthony of Padua on Erie Street, Exeter.

Octoberfest will be held from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 26, on the church grounds.

All meals will be sold as platters in takeout containers with CDC protocols in place to clean throughout the entirety of the festival. Patrons will then have the option of dining at the festival at the picnic tables under the “Biergarten” in the German style of dining together, or simply ordering the food to take out.

The menu will include bratwurst, spaetzle (butter egg noodles,) schnitzel (breaded chicken,) frikadellen (specially made meat patties,) German style pretzels, french fries, soda, water, Octoberfest beer, and homemade German style cookies.

Come hungry! They look forward to seeing you there.

West Wyoming paper shredding

West Wyoming Borough, in conjunction with the Luzerne County Recycling Office and Paper Eaters, is holding a document shredding event for West Wyoming residents only. It will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 16, in front of the DPW building at Rear 926 Shoemaker Ave., West Wyoming.

There is a three-box limit and proof of residency is required.

Various confidential paper documents can be shredded free of charge for residents. The documents include, for example: outdated medical records, insurance records, bills, legal and tax documents, and other sensitive paper documents.

For information, please contact the West Wyoming Borough at 570-693-1311.

WA scholarships

Wyoming Area Scholarship Program is working on developing new scholarships to offer seniors during the 2021-22 school year. Any individual, family, group, civic group, or business that has considered offering an award to Wyoming Area graduating seniors is invited to call Teddi Rabel at the high school at 570-655-2836, ext. 2339 and give your name and phone number. A committee member will contact you to discuss your ideas and to help you develop an award.

Scholarships being awarded in the 2021-22 school year must be developed by Sept. 30 in order to get them on the website and in time to present them at the Scholarship Information Night Program planned for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, in the high school cafeteria. However, scholarships still can be accepted up to early spring 2022.

Emergency contact information

Wyoming Borough is asking each household to provide contact information in case of emergency, or to be used when the borough needs to reach residents. Much of the information on file is currently outdated.

This is totally voluntary, but will be much appreciated.

Contact Kelsie, the Wyoming Borough clerk, by phone at 570-693-0291 or through email at Please be sure to include your name, address, phone number and email address.

Grace Berlew writes about Exeter, Wyoming and West Wyoming every week. To list an item, email or call 570-301-2185 by Monday.

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