Rita’s Italian Ice Giveaway Garners Ritual Status


Bensalem, Pa. (March 13, 2006) – It’s a rite of spring not to be missed: Rita’s first day of spring Italian ice giveaway. This will be the 13th year of this unique celebration of the Vernal Equinox. Since 1994 Rita’s has given away an estimated total of 2.5 million cups of Italian ice on the first day of spring.

On Monday, March 20, from noon to 9 p.m. more than 340 Rita’s locations nationwide will scoop an estimated 525,000 cups of smooth, tongue-tingling bliss. Anyone who stops by will receive a free, regular size 10 ounce Italian ice, a sure sign of spring.

“Our customers look forward to this early sign of spring,” said Rita’s CEO Jim Rudolph. “It’s become a ritual for our long time customers and a way for newcomers to get their first taste of this amazing treat.”

More than 3,400 employees will spend 20,000 man hours preparing the frozen delights. The estimated 525,000 cups requires more than 5.2 million ounces of Rita’s Italian ice.

• If the 525,000 full cups were stacked one atop another, they would form 315 rows running from the ground floor to the top of the Washington Monument.

• There will be enough cups of Italian ice given away on the first day of spring to supply sell-out crowds at the home stadiums of the teams in Major League Baseball’s eastern divisions, both American and National Leagues

• The 5 million ounces of Italian ice required for the First Day of Spring giveaway would fill more than 5 ½ tanker trucks.

• If the half million full cups were stacked atop each other, they would form six rows running the combined heights of the world’s 20 tallest buildings. This includes Taipei 101-the world’s tallest building, the Sears Tower in Chicago and New York’s Empire State Building.