Celebrate Spring with Free Ice Cream, Ices

Free cone from Dairy Queen

Columbia, SC (USA Today, WLTX)- For the first day of spring, free and frozen are in the forecast.

Celebrate the kickoff of the new season Monday with free, frozen treats from Dairy Queen and Rita's Italian Ice.

Rita's spring promotion is having its 25th anniversary, and it runs noon to 9 p.m. Monday The company, which has locations in 33 states as far north as Minnesota, expects to give away more than 1 million cups of free Italian ices.

The limit is one free cup per person, but enter Rita’s First Day of Spring Photo Contest for a chance to win 25 prizes, including the grand prize of free Italian ice for a year.



Capture and share your first day of spring moments Monday to Friday on Rita's Instagram, Twitter or Facebook page using #RitasFirstDayofSpring. Find Rita's locations and the contest rules here.

Participating Dairy Queen and DQ Grill & Chill stores in 49 states and the District of Columbia will give out free small vanilla soft-serve cones with the signature curl on top for their third annual Free Cone Day. The event, which runs all day Monday while supplies last, also serves as a fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The limit is one free cone per person, and mall locations are not participating.

"We can’t think of a better way to show our appreciation to fans, kick off the spring season and support such an amazing cause than with a Free Cone Day,” Barry Westrum, executive vice president of marketing for American Dairy Queen Corp., said in a news release. “The icing on the cake is supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.”

During last year’s event, Dairy Queen raised more than $200,000 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, according to the release. Children's Miracle raises money and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the USA and Canada.

Find your closest Dairy Queen.

Just a warning, expect long lines at both Rita’s and Dairy Queen, and remember supplies are limited. Depending on the weather, you may end up a little frosty waiting for your free treat.

If you live in one of 30 states or the District of Columbia where Ben & Jerry's has its Scoop Shops, mark April 4 on your calendar.

Participating locations will have their Free Cone Day from noon to 8 p.m. then. Guests can get a free scoop in any flavor on a cone or cup. 

Find your closest location. The closest locations to the midlands are in Charlotte, NC and Charleston, SC.

USA Today Network


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