History of National Pretzel Day

As you might expect, National Pretzel Day was founded by a real character.

Ed Rendell was mayor of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2000 (after eight years as the city's district attorney), then won election as the governor of Pennsylvania in 2002, serving in that position from 2003 to 2011. He's not just a stuffy politician, though; during and after his tenure as governor, he has also appeared as a postgame analyst for Philadelphia Eagles football games.

In 2003, Governor Rendell declared April 26 to be National Pretzel Day, in recognition of the pretzel's importance to Pennsylvania's cultural history and economy. The soft pretzel is a quintessential Philadelphia treat, and many producers of hard pretzels are located in and around Lancaster, PA, including Herr's, Snyder's of Hanover, and Utz.

Since then, the holiday has been embraced by more and more pretzel vendors — and pretzel lovers! Your local pretzel shop might offer free pretzels on that day. We'll post these special offers as we hear about them.