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

Interesting that there are no children in the picture!

The children (and me!) were there right after school, between 3-4pm where there was no line, Woohoo! Don't wait until the college crowd came out when it gets dark —LeeY

SOMEBODY forgot to post this on the events board!

Hey don't look at me, I went to downtown on a lark.

Reports from April 21st, 2009

Reports from April 25th, 2006

People 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

  • Up to ten Ben & Jerry's employees were working at the same time to be sure the wait in line wasn't longer than ten minutes.
  • Site of the first unofficial #daviswiki IRC meetup.
  • KDVS was on site spinning mad tunes, with free buttons and stickers.
  • PopeChristof hacked the Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day event. Having taken his wife and child to Ben & Jerry's to see what the line was like right at opening, Christof noted that there wasn't really all that much of a line. Christof then noticed that he lives less than 100 yards from Ben & Jerry's. Christof didn't have a lot to do on April 19th, so he decided to stock his freezer. Purely for the benefit of his wife and child, of course. Oh, and to obtain some of the ingredients for a tasty Cherry Garcia beer float. (Made with Cherry Lambic Ale). 18 trips later, The line was long, the freezer had enough ice cream, and the day was hot.

Photos from 2005

The line at Noon, before opening the doors The line at about 2pm The line at about 3pm The line from inside the store at about 5pm

Ben & jerry's employees moving fast More 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