FREE Taste of Italian Spring in SC and other areas of USA

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I just read this from a fellow “Twitter” pal:

March 20, 2009 from SCnow.com:
The first day of spring is marked with a free Italian ice in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina and other parts of the U.S. Rita’s Italian Ice is giving out a free regular size Italian ice today. Each year hundred of thousands of guests turnout across the U.S. for the First Taste of Spring. This is the 17th year Rita’s giving away the free Italian ice, and this is the first time it’s being held in Florence.
Rita’s also asks everyone who stops by to donate a canned food or non perishable item to the Manna House. The giveaway continues until 10 tonight!
Sounds delicioso! ANDIAMO!
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Comments

  1. says

    Now that I know what the Pee Dee region of SC is (had to look that up), I’m jealous. No Italian ice in North Idaho. Not too many Italians either. We’re considered rather exotic up here….

    Do you visit Father Longenecker’s site? He’s in Greenville (but you probably know that already being a smart Italian lady)

    http://gkupsidedown.blogspot.com/

  2. says

    No Italian ice in Hawaii, either (we have local shave ice). This is a nice tradition for welcoming spring, as is donating food. Sounds like fun!

  3. says

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  4. says

    Being born and raised in the “burbs” of Philly, Rita’s is very familiar to me. Here’s a bit of history from their site -

    The story of Rita’s Water Ice dates back to the sweltering summer of 1984 when Bob Tumolo, a former Philadelphia firefighter, decided to open a small Italian Ice business to augment his income. Tumolo opened his first store in Bensalem, Pa. and named the business after his wife, Rita.

    Cool idea to kick off spring!

  5. says

    Reeni, I thought so too….just wish that I could have tried some. But alas, Rita’s is two and a half hours away from where I live. Ice cream will have to suffice!

  6. says

    Adrienne, Since I am not originally from SC, I have no idea what “Pee Dee’ means. . . in the middle of the state it is quite flat, so it is called the Piedmont (peed-mont). So I think it is sort of a nick name. My husband and I found an ice cream shop last night that said “Italian Ice” on the front sign. . . so when we went in and tried to order some, he said, “stopped selling it, since no one knew what it was around here”. Very, very true! They don’t know what they’re missing in the little town where I live. :(

  7. says

    Sapuche,

    No Hawaiian shave ice here either. I LOVE that stuff; I’ve only been to Hawaii a few times, and always try to find a good vendor for that special cold treat!

  8. says

    Red Kathy,

    I am sure you had fabulous varieties of Italian (and other ethnic) foods in Philly! The guy that tried to sell Italian ice down here is from Philly. . . super nice young man. Florence (where Rita’s is located) is quite a bit larger than the iddy biddy town where our we’re close to. Folks really don’t know what gelato or Italian ice is in “these parts”. So he made me something with sherbert and soft vanilla ice cream mixed in. But it wasn’t the same! :(

    Nice story about Rita’s. I wonder how big of a chain it is?

    Roz

  9. says

    Antonella, Grazie mille per la complimenti. I am very poor with my Italian, having never used it after mastering it in college. We have a saying that you may have heard, “Use it or lose it!” My Italian is sadly very lost. But I am re-learning! Thank you for writing to me in Italian. . . this way I look up the translations. It is easier to learn this way I think!

    Ciao, Roz

  10. says

    Hi Bridgette,

    I agree, it’s fun, it’s free, and any donations go to charity. All positive when we need alot of good things right now!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Roz

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