Free Cone Day is celebrated on March 21 every year. The event, devised by the ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s, is valid everywhere the company has stores. The brand uses the day to express its appreciation and love for its customers and celebrates by giving out free ice cream cones — no strings attached and no purchase necessary. Check the availability of stores celebrating this unofficial holiday on the Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop Locator. Free Cone Day has been a tradition for decades now, as it first began in 1979.
History of Free Cone Day
Ice cream is a popular dessert and is even considered by some as comfort food that’s bound to cheer you up when you feel down. And, after all, who can resist a cream-filled cone topped with the U.S.’s most popular topping, hot fudge?
Ben & Jerry’s is an American company that manufactures ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbets. The first-ever Free Cone Day happened in 1979 as a way of Ben and Jerry’s thanking their customers for an entire year of patronage at the Burlington store. The company was founded by childhood friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield in 1978. Their first store was in a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont. Currently, the company has locations in nearly 40 countries across the world, from Aruba to the U.A.E. The tradition continued annually in Vermont until 1984, when Saratoga Springs, New York, became the first town outside of Vermont to celebrate Free Cone Day.
The organization of Free Cone Day only became more coordinated in 1988 when it was celebrated on June 4 in Vermont and June 5 in all other locations. On May 21, 1993, all United States’ Ben & Jerry’s locations celebrated Free Cone Day.
Canada officially became the first country outside of the U.S. to celebrate Free Cone Day in 1993. With the company expanding globally at a rapid rate, 2000 saw several countries celebrating the day in 2000. Free Cone Day kept gaining momentum, thanks to the Ben & Jerry’s app that made sharing content about the day all that much easier.
Free Cone Day timeline
Ben & Jerry’s is founded in Burlington, Vermont.
The first Free Cone Day takes place after one year of operation.
Saratoga Springs, New York, becomes the first town outside of Vermont to celebrate Free Cone Day.
Canada becomes the first country to celebrate Free Cone Day outside of the U.S.
Free Cone Day FAQs
What is Ben & Jerry's most popular flavor?
Chocolate chip cookie dough is one of their most popular flavors.
What is Ben & Jerry's newest flavor?
Ben & Jerry’s unveiled their newest flavor in September 2021, called Change is Brewing to support a political cause.
What are the original Ben & Jerry's flavors?
The first Ben & Jerry’s flavor was vanilla.
Free Cone Day Activities
Line up for a free cone
If you live close to a Ben & Jerry’s store, why not line up for a free cone yourself? Bring your friends and family along to share in the fun.
Talk about it on social media
Share your free cone experience on social media. This will get your friends buzzing.
Eat ice cream regardless
Is getting a free cone not possible? Buy some ice cream and enjoy it regardless.
5 Decadent Facts About Ice Cream
It’s made from milk
It takes about 12 pounds of milk to produce a gallon of ice cream.
The highest ice cream consumption
The U.S. ranks highest in terms of ice cream consumption.
Chocolate ice cream came first
Though it ranks second to vanilla in preference, chocolate ice cream was invented before vanilla ice cream.
The tallest cone
The tallest ice cream cone was over 9 feet high.
There are unusual toppings
While most people have a favorite topping, there are many creative ideas including wasabi, barbecue chips, cinnamon toast, and Oreos and peanut butter.
Why We Love Free Cone Day
It’s an appreciation holiday
The core of Free Cone Day is to appreciate patronage. The reason behind the holiday is wholesome enough to warm anyone’s heart.
It’s free ice cream
Free Cone Day means free ice cream. If you live in an area where it's accessible, what could be better?
It’s an excuse to eat ice cream
Even if you can’t get a free cone, the day is an excuse to appreciate the pleasure of eating ice cream. Participate and enjoy!
Free Cone Day dates