Latrobe adds extra day, activities to banana split celebration

PHOTO SOURCE: Great American Banana Split FB page

LATROBE, Pa. — This year’s planned banana-themed festivities in Latrobe have grown to include a second day of activities.

According to our partners at TribLive.com, the Downtown Latrobe Banana Split Celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20. The day will include live entertainment, activities for kids and, of course, helpings of the frozen treat said to have been invented in Latrobe.

It will be a prelude to the Great American Banana Split Celebration, set for the following day, Aug. 21, at Latrobe’s Legion Keener Park.

The additional offerings on Aug. 20 are “a way to encourage people to come downtown for the activities we have planned and then spend the day in the park on Saturday,” said Michael Tusay, executive director of the Latrobe Art Center.

Last year’s annual banana split celebration was virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With (pandemic) restrictions being more-or-less lifted and construction in the downtown area for the most part complete, it encouraged us to move forward” with banana festivities in the heart of the city, where they had been held in past years, Tusay said.

Downtown Latrobe merchants collaborated in planning for the additional day of banana split activities.

“We all decided as a group that we could do something on Friday that would lead into Saturday, with activities to bring people into town,” said Briana Tomack, president of the Greater Latrobe-Laurel Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce that is organizing the Saturday events. “It’s going to be great.”

Activities at Legion Keener on Aug. 21 include a Banana Run 5K race at 9:30 a.m., a car show from noon to 4 p.m., a pie-eating contest at 2 p.m., presentation of the banana split princess at 4:45 p.m. and live entertainment at 6:30 p.m.

A farmers market and food and craft vendors will be on hand.

5K participants can visit bananasplit.run to enter as a runner or walker.

Visit bananasplitfest.com for more festival details.