Beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 17, the first 50 families in line at the grand opening will receive coupons for a year's worth of Rita's Italian Ice.

Rita's Italian Ice Creamery is excited to announce they will be hosting a four-day grand opening celebration for the recently opened location in Baton Rouge beginning Thursday, November 15, 2018. This new location is owned and operated by Maria Finley.

Regular size Italian Ice and and Gelati will be served from Thursday, November 15 to Sunday, November 18 at reduced prices of $1 and $2, respectively. Also, beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 17, the first 50 families in line at the grand opening will receive coupons for a year's worth of Rita's Italian Ice. Ice Guy, Rita’s lovable mascot, a face painter and balloon twister will be present at the celebration. Drawings for special prizes including an autographed football and jersey by LSU Football Coach Ed Orgeron will occur throughout the weekend.

Maria enjoyed Rita's for the first time while visiting her son in Washington, D.C. when she thought she was opening a new chapter and leaving Louisiana behind to pursue her Master of Law at Georgetown University.

"I tasted Rita's for the first time and immediately called my realtor and told him to take my house off the market because I was coming back to Louisiana to open my own Rita's Italian Ice franchise. I said to myself ‘what is this stuff and why don't we have it in Louisiana?’ It was that good. I am so excited to bring handmade frozen custard and Italian Ice made fresh daily to Louisianans,” shared Finley.

After the great flood in August 2016, plans to open were slowed, but Maria is happy to finally hold the grand opening celebration and invite the community to experience the same fresh Italian Ice she did while visiting her son.

Maria has been a practicing attorney in Baton Rouge for more than seventeen years and is excited to bring another passion of hers to the community. She shared that the business has become a family affair with her son Douglas, managing the location's website and social media accounts, her other son Branden, being her presence in the store when she is still practicing law, and her grandson's Mom, Tatyana, managing the store operations.

Rita's is partnering with the American Cancer Society in honor of her friend, Allison Kleinpeter Smith, by collecting monetary donations and travel size toiletries at the grand opening celebration to benefit the Hope Lodge in New Orleans. Cancer patients traveling from outside of the city of New Orleans receiving life-saving treatment can stay at Hope Lodge for free. Guests are encouraged to lend their support for the organization during the grand opening even and enjoy delicious Italian Ice at the new store while benefiting this great cause.

Contributed by Rita’s Italian Ice