Last year Latrobe, Pa., was officially recognized as the birthplace of the banana split and was presented with a historical marker from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in honor of National Banana Split Day. This spirited, appealing ceremony, held at the location where the banana split was first created in 1904, kicked-off a weekend-long celebration of the classic American dessert christened the Great American Banana Split Celebration.
Since Dole Fresh Fruit wants to be where banana lovers are, the banana leader teamed up once again with The City of Latrobe and Saint Vincent College to continue this sweet tradition, honoring the iconic, triple-scoop treat – as well as the city where it all began – by hosting Second Annual Great American Banana Split Celebration, a two-day celebration of both the classic banana split and new, healthier versions developed by Dole.
The festival culminated with today’s launch of National Banana Split Day at the exact place in Latrobe, the former site of Tassel Pharmacy, where David Strickler created the first banana split 110 years ago.
Dole Fresh Fruit, based in Westlake Village, Calif., served as a title sponsor of the event and provided thousands of DOLE Bananas and recipes for banana-themed snacks, entrees, drinks and of course, banana splits. Continuing in its tradition of offering “guilt-free” versions of classic desserts, Dole used its involvement to offer recipes for healthier banana split varieties featuring bananas topped with Greek yogurt, sorbet, honey, pomegranate seeds, berries, sliced pineapples and other fresh fruit.
“Last year we celebrated Latrobe as the birthplace of the banana split but also introduced healthier ways to enjoy this iconic dessert as part of Dole’s commitment to health and nutrition,” says Bil Goldfield, Dole’s director of corporate communications. “As America’s number one banana provider, Dole helped host the 2014 event to reinforce this message that there are healthy-but-fun—and just as delicious— alternatives to the ‘traditional’ banana split.”
The Latrobe Art Center, Latrobe Community Revitalization Program, Latrobe Rotary Club, Valley Dairy Restaurants, Latrobe Business and Professional Women’s Club, Latrobe Lions Club, Westmoreland Hope in Action and other local nonprofit and for-profit organizations helped organize the second annual event.