Ithaca’s 1st Annual Banana Festival on 8/13

Come Eat, Drink and Go Bananas at Ithaca’s 1st Annual Banana Festival on August 13th from noon – 5:00 pm on the Ithaca Commons! The Banana Fest is being designed and run by workers from the Youth Employment Service Program at the Ithaca Youth Bureau for families in the community. All money raised will support the YES program’s mission to provide jobs for teens to prepare for and connect to employment opportunities in the community and in the world.Bananas are the most popular fruit in the entire world. Although they are not grown in Ithaca, we eat more Bananas than apples and pears combined. Bananas are also cheap and easy to buy, something that we often take for granted. The majority of the Bananas used at Banana Fest are being supplied by Equal Exchange’s Fair Trade through GreenStar; these are bananas that have been picked by workers in Central America and South America who receive fair pay for their work. They are also grown organically which is good for the environment. We hope to promote the idea of Fair Trade through the Banana Fest as well as encourage other youth and families alike to eat healthy foods in an effort to promote a healthy life style. Planned events at the Banana Fest include an assortment of foods have been donated and prepared for us such as the Banana Cream Pie and Banana Bread from Collegetown Bagels, Sabana Banana and Banana Chutney from the Moosewood Restaurant, as well as Bananas Foster and Banana Iced-Tea from the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. YES workers will be supplying Banana Milkshakes, Smoothies, Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas, Fried Plantains, Thai Fried Bananas and Banana Splits. There will be a Bounce House as well as a bunch of games to be played for all ages including slingshot monkeys, spinning bananas, and a water balloon toss. A prize booth will be available for gamers who accumulate a fair amount of tokens which you can win by playing at any of the game booths. We will also have a banana cream pie eating competition with a grand prize, local youth performers, Nate the Great the juggler and balloon creations by Cayuga Twister.The Banana Fest is free and open to the public. If you would like to sample banana foods or play any of the carnival games, tickets are one dollar and are good for one sample or one game. All proceeds will benefit the YES program and help enable area youth to gain meaningful job experience. Bring the entire family to Eat, Drink and Go Bananas at the Banana Festival on August 13th from Noon to 5 on the Ithaca Commons. The Banana Festival is made possible in part by Shortstop Deli, Equal Exchange, Collegetown Bagels, Moosewood Restaurant and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. For more information please visit the Banana Festival page on Facebook.

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