Banana Split Festival – Wilmington

13.) Banana Split Festival – Wilmington – June 8, 2013

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In the winter of 1907, Ernest R. Hazard, owner of Hazard’s Restaurant, needed a way to lure in the students from nearby Wilmington College.

In order to do this, he held a contest with his employees, bringing out various ingredients for them to try and create a new dish.

This was a contest that Ernest ended up winning himself.

(sounds rigged to me)

So what was this brilliant idea that would lure in college students from the bitter winter cold of 1907?  A hot soup bread bowl?  Spicy chili? Irish coffee?

Heck no.  Because nothing warms the belly…

…quite like a banana split!

All jokes aside, Wilmington’s claim that Hazard is the banana split creator is a serious one (no matter what Latrobe, Pennsylvania says)…

…and if you follow the signs…

…pass the geese…

…cross the bridge…

…and go beyond the donation table…

…you’ll be led to a festival

…that celebrates it all!

Although the banana split was created as a wintertime lure, the Banana Split Festival fortunately takes place in the summertime (well, springtime officially)…

…allowing children to enjoy the park’s playground…

…jump houses…

…tractor and pony rides…

…and a long row of various games!

There was even a kids’ baseball tournament going on!

For the adults…

…they were able to walk around the car show…

…or sit back with the Scioto Valley Brass and Percussion Company.

Out on the grass…

…there was a vendor area…

…where veterans could learn more about their benefits (Clinton County Veterans Service Commission)…

…art lovers could get their fix (WCAC)…

…and shoppers could browse through wooden crafts…

…animal and tote crafts (Cheeky by Shannon)…

…a funky fedora…

…which fit on your head like this…

…and the mysteriously popular Glitter Tattoos.

There was also a vast food selection…

…offering standard food fare from local organizations…

…Mexican-esque grub…

…and even some fun food from the ’50’s era.

But it was the banana split house that did the luring…

…and I couldn’t help but order a 2- scoop split (banana was at no extra cost).

I claimed my strawberry and vanilla Velvet ice cream scoops…

…got my split banana…

…and loaded up the pineapple, strawberry, chocolate, caramel and whipped cream toppings…

…for a masterpiece to enjoy by myself…

…and it was delicious!

But before I left the festival, I stopped by the pavilion…

…where Yahoo’s Blue Ribbon Hunter Chef Allison Fishman was attending the banana split competition.

If you’re not familiar with the Blue Ribbon Hunter series, Chef Fishman goes around to food competitions (usually at festivals), eats food, interviews people and just has fun…

…so someone I can definitely relate to!

Fortunately, before things got too crazy with the competition, I got to stop by, introduce myself, quickly chat about a festival or two…

…and she was kind enough to pose for a photo.

The banana dude was kind enough as well.

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