Free Cone Day


    1. Reports from April 12, 2011
    2. Reports from March 23, 2010
    3. Reports from April 21st, 2009
    4. Reports from April 25th, 2006
    5. Reports from April 19th, 2005
      1. Photos from 2005
    6. Reports from April 19th, 2004

Free Cone Day is a Ben & Jerry's tradition that goes all the way back to 1979. When Ben and Jerry first started out in Vermont in the Spring of 1978, they decided that if their business lasted a year, they would have a Customer Appreciation Day where they would give away free ice cream all day. The first annual free cone day was held on May 5, 1979, and the tradition continues every year with Free Cone Day falling sometime between mid-April and early May. With the closing of our local Ben & Jerry's, cone day no longer qualifies as a Davis Holiday.

Free Cone Day 2010 was held on March 23rd. Customers gathered in a long line and ate the ice cream on the lawn in front of the store. Children played. Dogs barked. Cows sang in four part harmonies. A splendid time was had by all.

Reports from April 12, 2011

Free Cone Day 2011 happened on April 12, 2011. The line was half as long as 2010, perhaps fewer people knew about it -but it WAS posted on the DavisWiki Events Board this time. The weather was beautiful, perfect -sunny, warm, not hot. KDVS DJ's were playing records on the green. Chicago's Saturday in the Park could have been written that day. If it wasn't Tuesday, and if the ice cream wasn't free, that is. If you missed it, there's 31-cent Scoop Night coming up on April 27, 5PM-10PM.

Reports from March 23, 2010


I didn't actually go for the free ice cream. The line was way, way insane. (There were more people past the right edge but my lens ain't that good. The line was also probably longer during actual daylight, too.)—AlexanderHo

Reports from April 21st, 2009

Reports from April 25th, 2006

free-cone-day-2006.jpgPeople wait in a long line for their government ice cream ration

The line had 50 people at 1:30PM, 60 people at 2:00PM, grew to 120 people at 5:00PM. The line moved at 6 people/minute. (Figures averaged from 12 measurements). A number of people seemed to return to the end of the line for seconds, thirds, etc. The weather was perfect.

A few blue menu cards were passed along so that people could decide before they got to the serving station. Unfortunately, the tide kept moving the cards ahead (and a few cards disappeared). A much better method would have been to put a large sign on the lawn for everyone to read.

In years past, I've had great experiences with the crowd for cone day, but I was disappointed this year. When I got in line by the Gap, there was a single girl infront of me. She slowly budged people in with her until their their group totaled 8. This was right at 5:00, and some of the people in her group were talking about how they'd already had two cones. When the 8th person moved in, I finally complained and they acted as though I was the rude one. *sigh* I wish people would be more considerate of others. My cone, however long it took to get, was delicious.Janelle

Reports from April 19th, 2005

Photos from 2005

line12pm.jpgThe line at Noon, before opening the doors

line2pm.jpgThe line at about 2pm line3pm.jpgThe line at about 3pm line5pm.jpgThe line from inside the store at about 5pm

gavinfast.jpgBen & jerry's employees moving fast

robpoints.jpgMore Ben & Jerry's employees moving even faster

Reports from April 19th, 2004

In 2004 the KDVS Sound System spun records all day long and, as a community sponsored organization, collected over a hundred dollars in donations. Over 6,000 free servings of ice cream were scooped. In 2005 the staff of Ben & Jerry's will plan a lot of crazy fun stuff as well as give away lots and lots of free ice cream.

(In 2004) Free Cone Day helped ensure that I registered to vote! - KenjiYamada

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