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Shopping Outside For Christmas Eve Dinner

DUNMORE -- People in Lackawanna County are taking their holiday preparations outside this week.  Outdoor seafood markets can be just as much of a tradition as the meals they help to put together.

Dick Russo has been selling seafood out in the elements for about 15 Decembers now.  He and his coworkers at Riccardo's in Dunmore feel they've finally thawed out from the weekend's freezing weather.

"It was terrible, too cold, too cold. The fresh fish was frozen, but it's alright now," Russo said.

There's warm shelter inside their trailer if they need it, so all in all, Russo said he looks forward to this time of year.

"It's fun to talk to people and see what they're making for dinner, and you know, get different ideas for recipes. You get to talk to people. It's nice," he added.

Hearing about the holiday dinner plans can make you hungry.

Nora Manzolillo told us, "We get together with my children and my grandchildren, and we start out with different fishes, we have shrimp, and calamari, and scallops, and then we have a nice prime rib dinner and we all go to Christmas Eve Mass together."

Most of the shoppers we talked to say it's a bit too soon to get their ingredients.  They came early to scope out the selection.

The outdoor seafood market serves the traditional ingredients for a "seven fishes" Christmas Eve dinner.  That's what Fran Marrazzo came to shop for.

"I make it every year for the last 50 years. It's not Christmas Eve if I don't make it," Marrazzo said.

And there's something about buying that meal outside that makes it feel more like Christmas.

"I like it. I think it's good because you know it's fresh. I prefer fresh to frozen," Marrazzo added.

The outdoor seafood market at Riccardo's will be open through New Year's Day.