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You can go bananas at Wilmington, Ohio's annual Banana Split Festival

Scenes from the Banana Split Festival
Scenes from the Banana Split Festival
courtesy Banana Split Festival

Do you dream of ice cream, bananas, fruit toppings and whipped cream? If you answered, "Yes!" then you might want to make the 200 mile journey south from Cleveland and attend the 20th annual Banana Split Festival. Admission is free.

Banana Split
courtesy Banana Split Festival

Banana Split Festival The city of Wilmington claims that native son Ernest Hazard invented the banana split in 1907. To celebrate the birth of the ice cream and banana concoction, each year the city holds a festival in its honor. This year's Festival will be held on Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14 at the J. W. Denver Williams Junior Memorial Park.

A featured attraction at the Festival will be a "Make Your Own Banana Split" booth where you can choose how many scoops (and what flavors) of ice cream you want and your favorite toppings.

Among this year's activities will be games, amusement rides, a dunking booth, a fish pond, a 5K run, pony rides and a petting zoo. Be sure to check out the Big Banana Baseball Tournament being held during the Festival.

You will have the opportunity to participate in a banana split eating contest (of course) on Saturday at 4 p.m. and you can watch area chefs compete in a Banana Split Masters Competition where they will create their own original rendition of the banana split.

And don't forget to pay a visit to the Buckeye Mobile Tour which will give Ohio State Buckeye fans a chance to engage in activities like interactive games and see Buckeye- branded vehicles and kids can play on Buckeye- branded inflatables.

Among the free musical entertainment performers will be Cheap Thrill, Passion, Funky G and the Groove Machine , Sawgrass and Blue Steel.

The Banana Split Festival will also feature a Classic Car Cruise-In on Friday evening and a Car Show on Saturday. Prizes will be awarded.

In addition to banana splits, there will be lots of food and beverages that were popular in the '50's and '60's available for purchase.

Hours for the Banana Split Festival are 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Saturday. Again, admission is free.

For more information about the Banana Split Festival call 877-428-4748 or get online at

The J. W. Denver Williams Junior Memorial Park is located at 1326 Fife Avenue in Wilmington, Ohio. It is approximately a 3 hour drive from Cleveland.


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