Dole’s Bobby Banana Appeals to His Fans on 10th Anniversary of Banana Split Celebration

LATROBE, Pa. – The year was 2013. Frozen yogurt (froyo) and “selfies” were sweeping the country. Iron Man 3 and The Hunger Games; Catching Fire topped the box office. And in Latrobe, Pa., the Pennsylvania Historical Society unveiled a marker at the former site of Tassel’s Pharmacy where in 1904 23-year-old David Strickler invented the banana split.

           To celebrate the official designation, the City of Latrobe and the Greater Latrobe-Laurel Valley Chamber of Commerce partnered with Dole Food Company to host the first Great American Banana Split Celebration and welcome a number of special guests including Bobby Banana, Dole’s 7-foot healthy-living mascot armed with Dole’s healthier-but-tasty version of the classic banana split.

           The August weekend celebration honoring the globally famous banana-based sundae included a Yellow Tie Gala, 5K Banana Run and antique car show, and was immediately deemed a success and annual tradition.

           Ten years later, Bobby Banana returned to where it all began to help Latrobe mark a decade of banana-themed festivities that now span four days of live music on multiple stages, dancing, craftsmaking, facepainting, cornhole tournaments, candy bar bingo and pie- and banana split-eating contests.

           Dole sponsored this year’s Great American Banana Split Celebration Climbing Wall where Bobby posed for pictures and cheered on banana-powered climbers throughout the Aug. 24-28 event.

“Dole was proud to be part of the inaugural event in 2013 christening Latrobe’s official role in banana history,” said Bil Goldfield, Dole’s director of corporate communications. “As you can imagine, we were especially honored to be part of the 10th anniversary festivities and delighted to see that the Great American Banana Split Celebration, and the dessert itself, are alive and well!”

           2023 has seen a noticeable resurgence of Bobby Banana in Dole’s marketing and community efforts, including appearances by the giant fruit on National Banana Day in April, on Dole’s web and social pages, and throughout a fall initiative and partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Charlotte to encourage parents and kids to adopt a healthier back-to-school routine.

Banana lovers can go to Back to School with Bobby Banana” through Sept. 15 to download a “bunch” of free assets and activities including Bobby’s Wake Up! Weekdays School Spotify MixBobby Banana and Pinellopy Pineapple Peel-and-Play Banana Sticker Sheets and create-your-own Lunchbox Weekly Menu PlannerBento Banter Lunchbox Jokes & FactsLunchbox Affirmation Notes and a First/Last Day of School Photo Sign,

Shoppers will also find a set of seven collectible DOLE® Banana stickers and DOLE® Pineapple tags, featuring the iconic Bobby Banana and Pinellopy Pineapple on tens of millions of pieces of freshly harvested Dole fruit in the produce section of supermarkets across North America through the end of September.

For more original Dole recipes, nutritional insights, and other information, visit or follow Dole’s FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest pages.  

About Dole Food Company, Inc.  

Dole Food Company, part of Dole plc, is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole is an industry leader in many of the products it sells, as well as in nutrition education. For more information, please visit