Sundaes are good on any day of hot summer weather, and when you’re publicizing a community, any additional claim to fame puts a cherry on top of your campaign.
So Ithaca, on Wednesday, July 18th, will serve up 3,000 free cherry sundaes, hoping to cement (or maybe freeze) in place its claim of being the birthplace of this celebrated stack of ice cream, fruit and syrup.
The sundae claim garnered national media attention in 2006 as Ithaca and Two Rivers, Wis., waged a tongue-in-cheek summer-long, publicity generating battle over who can claim origins of the sundae. Earlier this year, Ithaca High School seniors Meredith Buchberg and Laura Willemsen unearthed more evidence supporting Ithaca’s claim to the first sundae, at the former Platt & Colt’s pharmacy, and refuting Two Rivers’ claim, though the Wisconsin city also had its own sundae event.
Sundae Dinner will feature original Ithaca “Cherry Sundays.” The historic treat will be recreated using ingredients that closely match the homemade original—premium Purity vanilla ice cream and imported Fabbri Amarena cherries. Ice cream fans who want a modern sundae should BYO chocolate, nuts and whipped cream.
They’ll serve up the “Sundae Dinner” from 7 to 9pm on the 18th, as part of a downtown summer concert by a Louisiana Zydeco band. The ice cream treats are officially free, but if those enjoying them make a small donation to ease hunger, it’ll put a cherry on top of the whole event for its sponsors, and for people in need.