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History of the Banana Split

The story of the All-American dessert that started in Latrobe

Over 115 years ago in the Western PA town of Latrobe, David Strickler, a pharmacy apprentice, created what may be the most famous sundae of all time — the banana split!

Latrobe has had an annual celebration since 2013 when the Pennsylvania Historical Society unveiled a marker at the former site of Tassel's Pharmacy where Sticker was working at the time of his invention.

But the banana split isn't the only world-changing thing to come from Latrobe! This town just outside of Pittsburgh was where Fred Rogers of Mister Roger's Neighborhood grew up. It's also where Arnold Palmer was raised and started his golf career at Latrobe Country Club. The town boasts the annual Westmoreland County Air Show, Steelers Training Camp, the original home of Rolling Rock Beer, and St. Vincent College.

Banana Split

Banana Split Princesses

Piper Anke

Piper Anke

2018 Banana Split Princess

Janie Van Horn

Janie Van Horn

2019 Banana Split Princess

Sophia Trunzo

Sophia Trunzo

2020 Banana Split Princess

Honorary Chairs

Ice Cream Joe Gruble

The legacy of Latrobe as the birthplace of the banana split might not have been fully realized except for the efforts of Ice Cream Joe. While locals knew of the town's claim to the dessert, it was Joe who in 2004, on the 100th anniversary of the invention, worked with the University of Pittsburgh on the "From Pitt Came the Split" event. He was also part of the group of Latrobeans that submitted the petition for the Pennsylvania Historical Marker that was installed in 2013.

From 2015 until his passing in 2017, Joe served up ice cream, ideas, and smiles as the celebration's honorary chair.

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