SCRANTON -- Each year right before Christmas and the start of the new year, Cooper's Seafood in Scranton moves its operation outside for an outdoor fresh fish market.
"It's a big job, really is, we start two days in advance, so everything is fresh. The fish comes in, the kitchen works overnight to prepare everything, so it is fresh," said co-owner Paul Cooper.
The place was busy on New Year's Eve morning. Most customers plan to stay in for the night with a big seafood feast.
"Usually, we go out on New Year's Eve, but the holiday kind of got away from us, so we're just home tonight," said Debbie McGraine of Lake Ariel.
"At midnight tonight, I'll probably be in my pajamas watching whomever on TV!" added Kathleen O'Hara of Scranton.
Cooper's said customers are usually a little more indulgent on New Year's compared to Christmas, opting for seafood appetizers and king crab legs, among other things. Lobster tails are the biggest sellers.
Whether they knew why or not, people said eating seafood on the final night of the year is a tradition.
The Coopers say they even don't know the origin of the tradition.
"That's a good question, I'm happy that they do though!" Paul Cooper said.
For many of these customers, ending the year with seafood is something they've been raised on.
"In the Catholic tradition, you don't eat meat on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. So, I always grew up with fish," McGraine added.