Banana Split Celebration

AUG. 23-25

Dole Banana Split Logo OLLATROBE, PA – The Great American Banana Split Celebration, an official homecoming for banana lovers worldwide and a celebration of national banana split day, will be hosted by Dole Fresh Fruit, the City of Latrobe, the Latrobe Art Center, Latrobe Community Revitalization Program and Saint Vincent College on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 23, 24 and 25 in downtown Latrobe and on the Saint Vincent campus in Unity Twp.

Designed to celebrate Latrobe’s unique history as the birthplace of the banana split in 1904 and the placement of a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Historical Marker, the three-day event will be an all-American family celebration for persons of all ages.

Dole’s Bobby Banana (a 6-foot walk-around banana character) and Valley Dairy’s Joe “Ice Cream Joe” Greubel will serve as the honorary co-chairs of the event and participate in the official ceremonies.

Bobby BananaPre-Celebration Activities

The Latrobe Art Center will be doing a countdown to the celebration from July 23 to August 23. During this time period, the center’s eatery, The Neighborhood Café, will offer recipes that are made from Dole products. They will also be uploading those recipes onto their Facebook, Website, Twitter, Mailchimp and Pinterest accounts. The Art Center will also be hosting a Dole pre-party on Tuesday, Aug. 20 during its weekly Tunes-Day Evening in the Park that will incorporate the banana split theme in its music, food and décor. As a special attraction, the original soda fountain from Strickler’s Drug Store, where the world’s first banana split was created, will be displayed in the front window of the Latrobe Art Center. The banana split jelly bean mural, created by 28 children who took part in the Kid’s Art Camp utilizing 30 pounds of jelly beans, will also be display. It was sponsored by the Quatrini Rafferty Law Firm.

During the entire month of August, Valley Dairy Restaurants will be offering a special banana split ice cream cone for just $1 at the downtown Latrobe, Rt. 30 Wildcat Commons and nine other restaurant locations. Valley Dairy has also commissioned a special “Latrobe First Banana Split” lapel pin that, in conjunction with the restaurant’s 75th anniversary, can be purchased for only 75 cents by anyone who purchases a regular banana split. Others can buy the souvenir pin for $5 at all Valley Dairy restaurants. A banana split mural painted by Gabrielle Nastuck will also go on permanent display at the downtown Latrobe Valley Dairy location.


Latrobe Art Center would like to thank everyone who has participated in the Banana Split Theme Song Contest.  The talent in this little town is something to really sing about! Voting deadline is  August 17, 2013.  In less than week, we have accumulated over 2,000 votes!

 To celebrate and announce the winner, Latrobe Art Center has decided to throw a PRE-BANANA SPLIT PARTY on Tuesday, August 20, 2013.  Before we announce the winner, we are asking all ten finalists to join us and perform their song LIVE.

After all ten finalists perform, the winner will be announced and the party will officially begin!  Root beer floats and banana split smoothies will be made by the Neighborhood Cafe while Edible Kneads provides a delicious spread of sweet treats!

 The winner will get to perform their song live throughout the weekend of the Banana Split Festival.  This includes the Dedication Ceremony, the Yellow Tie Gala, the Sock Hop, and the events at Saint Vincent College.

Don’t miss out. . .VOTE NOW!



The Latrobe Art Center is hosting the Yellow-Tie Gala on Friday, August 23, 2013.  The Yellow-Tie Gala is one of the many festivities of celebration going on during the weekend of the Great American Banana Split Festival. This yellow-tie event will go from 6:30PM – 9:00PM. Guests will enter the party as they walk the yellow carpet.  The evening will start out with a Dole Banana Daiquiri Cocktail Hour in the QuatriniRafferty building, which is right across the street from the Latrobe Art Center.  Guests can mingle and try different themed drinks prepared by the bartender.

At the conclusion of Cocktail Hour everyone is welcome to spend the evening inside the art center and to dance in the street. The celebration will begin with the ribbon cutting in front of the Latrobe Art Center to reveal the banana split exhibit.  The Latrobe Art Center gallery participants and Ms. Gabi’s young artists will have their work on display.  Strickler’s original soda bar and other memorabilia will be available for viewing at the art center. The street in front of the art center will be blocked off and under the tent, music will be provided by the WCCC Jazz band under the direction of Dr. Roderick Booker.  Wine and beer will be available inside the center along with hors d’oeuvre’s provided by Chef Mark, fruit provided by Dole, and other tasty surprises.

Guests can get their picture taken in front of the giant banana split. The giant banana split will haveholes cut out in the cherries for guests to put theirheads through.  Giant ice cream clouds will be suspended from the ceiling. There will also be a giant banana split ice sculpture create by Chef Mark.

The tickets are $35 dollars and you must purchase them in advance. Please RSVP by completing the following form before August 16, 2013. The event is only for individuals ages 21 and older.  No tickets will be sold at the door. Tickets for the event can be purchased through the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program.  Men are asked to wear yellow ties and women are asked to wear something yellow.

Come join us and eat, drink, mingle, and celebrate the banana split!

Dole Banana Split Logo OLSATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 2013 – Banana Ingredient Baking Contest

The Latrobe Business & Professional Women’s Club is pleased to bring you the Banana Ingredient Baking Contest on Saturday, August 24, 2013, from 10:00 am – 11:30 am. Entries must be in disposable containers, no refrigerated items, must use “Dole” bananas as an Ingredient. Additional rules, details, and entry form can be downloaded here. All submissions bust be emailed or postmarked by August 13.



A malt shop sock hop dance will keep the fun going from 6pm-9pm Saturday evening at the Latrobe Art Center for a family fun night out.  Ligonier Street will be blocked off and the dancing will be in the street with a DJ playing both outside and inside.  Tables and chairs will be set up throughout the area.

Attendees are encouraged to dust off their poodle skirts,  saddle shoes, and prepare to go back to the fabulous 1950s for some shakin’…rattlin’…and rollin’…with a night of food, dancing and fun.  The public is encouraged to dress in 50s garb but it is not required.  Suggested attire for the evening includes long skirts, blue jeans, white button shirt and ponytails for the women and white t-shirts, blue jeans, leather jackets and slicked back hair for the men.

Food offerings include sliders and French fries, root beer floats, banana split and cotton candy smoothies.  Chef Mark will be behind the table dipping bananas in chocolate in addition to having a banana split sundae bar. Waiters on roller skates will be passing the food while Malt Shop Marty conducts a hula hoop contest, limbo contest and a bubble gum blowing contest.  Face painters, balloon makers, as well as a Malt Shop photo booth will be available for the whole family all night long!

This is one night you don’t want to miss. So grab the kids, grab your friends, and come to downtown Latrobe to celebrate our amazing Neighborhood!

For tickets, please call Latrobe Art Center.