Over 80 Carbon County residents were treated to a variety of educational topics Thursday at the Mahoning Valley Ambulance Association building in Mahoning Township.

During the Carbon County Penn State Cooperative Extension's annual holiday program, titled "Spring is in the Air," residents had the opportunity to learn about useful plants, adjusting baking recipes to make them healthier, spring gardening, decorating ideas, and the meaning of patriotic traditions.

Mindy Graver, family living educator at Penn State Cooperative Extension, Carbon County and organizer of the event, said she was thrilled with the program attendance.

"I'm so happy to see how many people attended this event," she said, noting that the annual holiday program was usually held in the fall.

Graver explained that the program was postponed until the spring due to the lack of a state budget last fall.

She added that her office is now thinking of making spring the new time to have the program.

Guest speakers at the daylong program included Sara Ruch, a Penn State University master gardener trainee, who talked about useful plants of the American Indians; Kathy DiGuiseppe, EFNEP supervisor at Penn State Cooperative Extension, Montgomery County, who talked about how to cut fat, sugar and cholesterol from baking without sacrificing the taste; Ed Knittle, a Penn State University master gardener, who talked about preparing a spring garden; Denise Sebelin of DeeZines Floral Shop in Jim Thorpe, who demonstrated how to use flowers to decorate your home; and Henry Desrosiers, director of the Carbon County Veterans Affairs office, who explained about the meanings behind many patriotic traditions.

Each participant was also given a packet that included more in-depth information on each subject, contact information for different agencies, tips and hints, alerts and more.