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Dairy Queen is canceling Free Cone Day — here's the scoop

Another beloved free food event bites the dust thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
Inside Manhattan's First Dairy Queen Location Ahead of the Grand Opening
Dairy Queen's Free Cone Day usually happens on March 20 to mark the first day of spring.TODAY Illustration / Bloomberg via Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Bad news, ice cream lovers: Dairy Queen is canceling its annual Free Cone Day due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The fast-food chain traditionally gives out free small vanilla soft-serve cones every year, usually on March 20, to mark the first day of spring.

"As spring approaches, we all look forward to Free Cone Day, an event that attracts long lines at our restaurants. Given the state of COVID-19, we've made the difficult decision to cancel this year's event with your safety and the safety of our crew members in mind," the company said in a statement.

This is the second year in a row that the special ice cream event has been postponed because of the pandemic. While the Minneapolis-based company said it was a "difficult decision," it added that the team is looking forward to bringing back Free Cone Day in 2022 and "celebrating our fans in a sweet way."

Reactions were mixed. Some ice cream lovers shared their disappointment about the cancellation, including how it was a small perk for people to look forward to during a tough time.

"Hey all of you shamers, remember some people have been stuck in the homes for months without real paychecks. A free anything may be a special treat," one person wrote.

Another person suggested Dairy Queen could have still made the giveaway socially distanced.

"I mean you could've just made the free cone drive-thru only lol BUT with that being said getting upset about a free $2 cone is kinda ridiculous," they said.

Other people posted their support for Dairy Queen and said the decision is the most responsible choice during the pandemic.

"I applaud them for being careful for all our sake. Sorry you can’t have your free cone," one customer wrote.

Another person added that the decision is "Totally understandable. Won't stop me from patronizing DQ. Love the treats there!"

Free Cone Day is just one of many beloved free food events that have been postponed because of the pandemic. Last year, Chick-fil-A moved its Cow Appreciation Day online, while Ben & Jerry's canceled its Free Cone Day to keep everyone safe.

Last week, IHOP canceled its National Pancake Day promotion to keep its restaurants from overcrowding. The diner is making it up to customers, though, with an IOU program that requires anyone who wants free pancakes to sign up for the company's email club by March 31.