It may be Pi Day, but since you’ve already got dessert on the brain, it’s never too early to start making plans for the long-anticipated return of Free Cone Day.
That’s right, Ben & Jerry’s spring tradition of handing out complimentary ice cream will return for the first time since 2019. The Vermont company suspended Free Cone Day during the pandemic, so I suppose we can assume that embracing the practice of queuing up for treats that are on the house is truly one of the last signs that we’ve now entered the endemic phase of COVID.
Free Cone Day started in 1979 when co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield decided to celebrate their first year in business—to some, a truly remarkable feat since they were selling frozen dessert in a much-of-the-year-frigid Vermont—by thanking the community for their support. They expressed their gratitude by opening the shop and giving away a scoop of any flavor to anyone who came in.
Since then, the company has opened outlets in 35 countries, and despite that growth it has kept Free Cone Day alive. This year, you can expect a new flavor on the menu: Lights! Caramel! Action! is a collaboration with filmmaker and TV producer Ava DuVernay. The vanilla ice cream with salted caramel swirls is packed with graham crackers and chocolate chip cookie dough, but perhaps come back after Free Cone Day to buy a scoop of this one since a portion of the proceeds go to DuVernay’s Array Alliance, which advances social justice causes through art.
This year, Free Cone Day takes place on Monday, April 3. You can line up for yours at the parlors on Southwest Yamhill Street, Northwest 10th Avenue and Northwest 23rd Place.