Latrobe, PA – When Mr. David Strickler created his first Banana Split in 1904, little did he know the worldwide phenomenon he was starting. Sold for only 10 cents at Tassel Pharmacy, the Banana Split was born on the 800 block of Ligonier Street, Latrobe PA.
In 2013 a marker designating Latrobe as the place where the Banana Split was invented was erected, and the Great American Banana Split Celebration (GABSC) was born. In 2014, the festival boasted thousands of attendees, and received tremendous community support. The 2015 event will be hosted and organized by the Chamber of Commerce. “An event like the Great American Banana Split Celebration is the perfect way to showcase the mark that Latrobe has made on a global scale”, said GLLV Event Director Allen Martello, “By pooling our resources, we’ll be able to keep building upon the foundation that’s already been set.”
After two successful years organizing the GABSC, the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program will be handing the reins over to the newly re-energized Greater Latrobe – Laurel Valley Community Chamber of Commerce. "We are very appreciative that David, Allen, and the Chamber board were so receptive to taking this on; it could not be in better hands moving forward. As the event grows, this will enable our organization to better focus on beautification, development, and our infrastructure, making good on what is a renewed vision," said Latrobe Community Revitalization Program Executive Director Jarod Trunzo.
The GLLV Chamber is showing major plans for continued growth of the GABSC. “As this event becomes a regional attraction, and with the opening of the Chamber’s new Visitor and Information Center, this is a great opportunity to share what the City of Latrobe has to offer,” said GLLV President David Martin.
The GABSC will continue to be held in Downtown Latrobe. “The Latrobe Community Revitalization Program’s successful efforts to bring additional notoriety and interest to the Latrobe community with the unique GABSC will be placed in good hands with the new GLLVCC. The Latrobe community should be pleased at what the LCRP has accomplished and excited at the Chamber’s embracing the festival to take something special to the next level!” said James R. Okonak, Executive Director of the McFeely-Rogers Foundation and Latrobe Community Revitalization Program board member. Alongside its existing events, the Chamber will also direct the “2015 Steelers Fest at Latrobe” to be held at Memorial Stadium.
More information regarding the 2015 GABSF will be available next year, including sponsorships, event details, and business opportunities.