In 1904, David Strickler of Tassel Pharmacy in Latrobe, Pa., dished up a whimsical treat for local students of nearby Saint Vincent College that would become the definitive American dessert — the banana split.
More than a century (109 years) later, the City of Latrobe, Saint Vincent College and Dole Fresh Fruit are teaming up to honor the iconic, triple-scoop treat and the city where it all began by hosting a three-day banana split celebration designed as a homecoming for banana lovers worldwide.
The Great American Banana Split Celebration , August 23-25 in Latrobe, features three days of ceremonies, tastings, run/walks, parties and dances commemorating the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania designation of Latrobe as the official banana split birthplace and culminating in the world’s largest banana split bar at Saint Vincent College on National Banana Split Day, Aug. 25.
“While Latrobe has always been considered the home of the banana split, this state designation makes it official,” explained Latrobe Mayor Barbara Griffin. “We see this as the definitive small-town homecoming event for anyone who loves bananas and banana splits. Since almost all American families buy and eat bananas, we expect a lot of out-of-area visitors that weekend.”Dole Fresh Fruit, based in Westlake Village, Calif., is a title sponsor of the event and will be supporting by providing thousands of DOLE ® Bananas and recipes for banana-themed salads, entrees, cocktails and traditional and healthier banana splits made with Greek yogurt, sorbet, honey, pomegranates and fresh berries. “DOLE is America’s favorite banana – so it makes perfect sense for us to honor America’s favorite dessert and the now-official city where it was created,” said Bil Goldfield, Dole’s director of corporate communications. “Of course, this being Dole, one of our goals is to introduce healthier versions of the famously decadent sundae with less calories and fat. We’re out to show that it is possible to eat smart and still enjoy your banana split, too.”