‘Latrobe: City of Firsts’ show slated during banana split festival
Latrobe Area Historical Society will present “Latrobe: City of Firsts,” a slide show of archival images, this weekend during the city’s annual celebration of the delectable banana split.
The repeating show will be on view from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sundayat the Quatrini Rafferty Building, 816 Ligonier St.
Among the firsts the city has laid claim is to being home of the banana split ice cream treat, claimed to have been invented at a local pharmacy in 1904. The historical society’s slide show is planned in conjunction with the city’s annual Great American Banana Split Celebration, which will offer food, entertainment and activities Friday through Sunday in downtown Latrobe.
An additional presentation of the historical society show is planned for those who have made reservations for the Yellow Tie Gala Friday evening at the Latrobe Art Center.
During the weekend festival, the historical society also will sell commemorative banana split ice cream scoops for $5.
Latrobe’s claim as the birthplace of the banana split is backed up by a Pennsylvania Historical Marker, approved by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and displayed along Ligonier Street — not far from the Quatrini Rafferty Building.
David E. Strickler, a 23-year-old apprentice pharmacist, is said to have created the banana split at Latrobe’s Tassell Pharmacy in 1904 by slicing a banana lengthwise and adding three scoops of ice cream and toppings. The treat became popular with students at nearby Saint Vincent College.
According to a rival origin account, restaurateur E.R. “Brady” Hazard first concocted the banana split in Wilmington, Ohio — in 1907.
Officials with the National Ice Cream Retailers Association have noted Latrobe’s claim appears to be supported by stronger documentation.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .