Hordes of hungry high school students tucked into a giant, 100-foot-long banana split that sprawled across the school hub at Clayton Heights Secondary Thursday afternoon.
Organizers hoped as many as 350 students would turn out, but there’s no telling how many actually spooned and slurped their way through the giant sundae, because it was devoured in minutes.
The giant ice cream concoction was created by the school’s Link Crew, student leaders in Grade 10 who planned the event as a way to foster school spirit and include the Grade 8s and 9s in a fun activity that was open to all students with a free block or their teachers’ permission.
Building such a massive banana split was a feat that required 90 gallons of ice cream, pre-scooped and placed into large, plastic buckets for faster assembly, along with untold numbers of pre-sliced bananas, pineapples, and other delicious ingredients.
“We’ve been scooping ice cream all week,” said Link Crew member Emily Markwart, adding several food classes were enlisted to slice up the many pounds of bananas for the split.
The Grade 8s were invited to dive in first – they were provided with paper cups and plastic spoons and politely scooped up single portions in sections before it melted.
Older students took a turn by donation, helping raise $175 in the process.
Latecomers were forced to turn to more desperate tactics as the ice cream started to melt; in some cases using ladles to scoop up what had essentially become a sugary soup, with some bravely drinking the dregs straight from their bowls.
The “dish” was one, long mold built with the assistance of the school’s wood shop students. It was set up on folding tables arranged in a large U-shape in the school hub.
“The trays were the worst to carry,” said Markwart.
The sundae-makers had to work fast, but the resulting banana split was picture perfect, complete with bananas, pineapples, maraschino cherries, sprinkles, whipped cream, and various toppings in every colour of the rainbow.
Bree Kehler, another Link Crew member, said a number of sponsors were key, including Price Smart in Clayton and Langley, Extra Foods, Chapmans Ice Cream, Mar-Tech Underground and TransCanada Cold.
The students started planning in late November, turning to YouTube videos for advice on how to create such a large banana split.
“Actually, I didn’t think it would go that fast,” Markwart said after it was all over.
Both girls praised Sheri Montgomery, the Link Crew coordinator, for her considerable support.
“Ms. Montgomery is amazing and let us do this whole thing,” Markwart said.