Philly’s streets might be a snowy, slushy mess today, but it’s the first day of spring! And that means it’s only a matter of time until we’re eating outside in 70-degree weather (just like we were, you know, a few weeks ago).
You know what else spring means? Of course you do – free Rita’s. Read more »
Rita’s Ices ranked
Because if there was ever a time for ranking frozen, flavored water, this is it.
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Sister Cities Park |Photo via Center City District
Rita’s Italian Ices are now available at Sister Cities Park (18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway) and John F. Collins Park (1707 Chestnut Street). Cool off while enjoying the Sister Cities boat pond or while relaxing in the shade on Chestnut Street. Both stands are open daily from noon to 7 pm.
Rita’s Italian Ices [Official]
Let’s get this out of the way first: It’s wooder ice.
No matter what Rita’s brands it — Italian ice, with an “Ice, Custard, Happiness” slogan — it’s called water ice, and it’s pronounced wooder. That’s the point a representative for Bucks County State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo made at Tuesday’s celebration of Rita’s 30th anniversary: It may be Italian ice around the country and world, but in Bensalem, Pennsylvania — where the Philly accents are even thicker than they are in the city — it’s “wooder ice.”
Rita’s was founded on May 4, 1984, a wonderful time before anyone made “May the 4th be with you” jokes. It started in the Andalusia section of Bensalem on the side of a house on Bristol Pike (Route 13), right across from the Woodhaven Mall. The mall is now a shopping center; Rita’s now has over 600 locations.
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If you happen to be vacationing in Shenzhen, China anytime soon, you’ll be able to enjoy a taste of home. The Trevose-based water ice chain Rita’s just opened its first location in the People’s Republic.
The shop is the first of 31 Rita’s stores that the company plans to open over the next decade there.
“It took forever–like nine months–to get the product through customs,” explains Rita’s spokesperson Linda Duke. “They just got the product last Friday and opened yesterday.”
Duke says there are no funky Chinese-inspired flavors being offered. Just the normal, time-tested options like lemon, cherry and mango, Rita’s top seller.
2014 will mark the company’s 30th year in business. Also on the horizon for Rita’s world domination: India, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Canada.
It’s the first day of spring and if that weren’t enough reason to celebrate, it also means free water ice at Rita’s. The tradition of giving away free water ice has been going on for more than 20-years now. Last year more than 1.2 million cups of Italian Ice were given away in ten hours.
Get your taste of spring today between noon and 9 p.m. at all Rita’s locations. Or you know, wait a day, pony up $2 and skip the line.
First Day of Spring [Rita’s Italian Ice]
Tuesday, March 20th is the first day of Spring and that means free water ice at all Rita’s locations. For the twentieth year in a row all Rita’s locations will be giving away a free regular-sized water ice. Rita’s Ice has 550 stores in 18 states and this year Rita’s is launching a TV commercial to go along with its free ice promo.
Rita’s Italian Ice to greet spring with TV commercials [Philadelphia Business Journal via The Philly Post]
Rita’s Ice [Official Site]
Carolyn Wyman investigates the oh-so-Philly combination of soft-serve ice cream and water ice.
Gelati Party [City Paper]
The latest from The Bite focuses on recovering from beer week. So it’s a week of hydration from the Tap Project to free water ice at Rita’s.
Clean Your Palate [Metro Philadelphia]
Today we take a look at some places opening Old City and Northern Liberties.
Eulogy’s second spot is opening just a block from the original at 33 S 3rd Street. The Beneluxx Tasting Room will take over what was A Bar Named Sue and SoMa.
More after the jump.
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